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On Farm HR during COVID-19

COVID-19 has brought never seen before circumstances which has create a lot of questions about how to continue running your farm business while following best practices for stopping the spread. We will try to answer some of your questions for you here.

Inform Employees on how to stay safe from COVID-19 on the job

  • Proper handwashing techniques
  • Keeping a physical distance while working
  • How to safely interact with on-farmer essential visitors
  • Post signs and train employees on these topics

What to do if someone working in your farm business has symptoms or gets sick

  • Support employees if they need to stay home due to exposure or diagnosis of COVID-19
  • If a worker has COVID-19 symptoms, they need to be sent home to self-isolate. Public health advises that unless other workers show signs, they can remain at the workplace and continue to work.
  • If a worker has a positive COVID-19 test result, they need to quarantine and any worker who was in direct contact with them will need to go home to self-isolate.(for definition of “in contact with” call your local public health unit)
  • If employees have been exposed to COVID-19 by another employee, you can inform them of the date of the potential exposure and the extent and circumstances of their potential exposure i.e. indirect or direct contact. Consult legal counsel if unsure
  • Workers are required to self-isolate for 14 days if they meet the following criteria
    • Have been exposed to, or suspect exposure to COVID-19
    • Are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
    • Have travelled outside Canada
  • Always follow public health guideline put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19

What to do if you have symptoms or are exposed to COVID-19

  • Work on your farm can continues if your workers have no contact with you and do not enter your home.
  • You may not leave you property to work land at another location
  • You must stay isolated for the necessary 14-day period

For a more in-depth look at managing your business during COVID-19 you can look at OFA’s Guide to Operating your Essential Farm Business During COVID-19.

If there is a question and you are unsure of the answer call you local public health unit for guidance.

Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council information and tips on COVID-19 – CAHRC has created a dedicated webpage with all the latest information, recommendations and employee management tips, tools and links. These links and guides will help you respond to the pandemic and limit the impact and spread of COVID-19.

CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employees – Center for Disease Control and Prevention has created a guide based on what is currently known about COVID-19. This resource helps employers helps prepare their businesses with a response plan to mitigate and slow COVID-19