AC2021 - 110: Navigating the Current Normal: The Mental Health Impact of COVID-19 on the Workplace

2021 Annual Conference

Member: $25.00
Non-Member: $35.00

Qualifies for CPD hours - Health & Wellness - Labour & Employee Relations - Mental Health - Safe Workplace

There is a growing awareness that we will experience an “echo pandemic” resulting from the staggering impact that COVID-19 has had on mental health. The collective and individual anxiety from the degree of uncertainty, loss, and fear caused by the pandemic has created significant implications for the workplace.

The radical changes to how work is performed, isolation experienced by some from working remotely, to increasing fears of interacting with coworkers and the public have created significant mental health challenges that organizations will need to address to stabilize and restore operations to productive functioning.

HR has to be equipped to have the necessary challenging conversations that have mental health implications, and will need to balance these conversations with the legal requirements related to human rights and accommodation in the workplace. This session will involve an interactive case study-based discussion that will showcase why and how HR and people-leaders should approach challenging discussions related to mental health, while observing their accommodation obligations and the complex minefield related to avoiding discrimination risks.

Learning Objectives

  • the parameters and implications related to accommodating mental health in the workplace
  • considerations for addressing fears and anxiety related to return to work in the pandemic context
  • acclimatizing employees to return to work or adjusting to a “new operating normal”
  • how to create workplace conditions that promote and foster mental hygiene and a wellness culture.

Laura Williams

Entrepreneur, Lawyer, Speaker, HR Business Consultant, Workplace Investigator, Thought Leader
Founder & Principal, Williams HR Law and Williams HR Consulting

As the founder and principal of Williams HR Law Professional Corporation and Williams HR Consulting Inc., Laura boasts more than two decades of experience providing strategic advice and representation to organizations operating across virtually all industries.

Laura has built two highly respected firms which respectively provide proactive HR law and HR consulting advice designed to minimize workplace law challenges, maximize employee engagement and boost bottom line performance. She is widely recognized as a leader helping employers leverage innovative strategies to reduce liability and costs derived from ineffective and noncompliant workplace practices.

Laura is also a seasoned workplace investigator, routinely engaged to conduct complex workplace investigations across virtually all industries including: education, not-for-profit, child care and child protection, manufacturing, municipal, automotive, health care, financial, information technology, food processing and distribution, retail, entertainment, professional services, security, insurance, construction, engineering and energy.

As a recognized thought leader, Laura has been featured in various national magazines and daily newspapers including PROFIT magazine and the National Post—where she provides expertise and insights for businesses on a wide range of employment law and HR issues—as well as various national broadcast and print media including CTV News, Global News, CBC Radio, the Globe and Mail, Macleans, Canadian Business Magazine and Chatelaine.

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