The NL Employers’ Council has been in the news today and yesterday raising awareness of the impact the state of emergency has had on businesses, many of whom are dealing with significant losses and stress as a result of being shut down for a week.
Some employees and labour leaders have been publicly pressing all employers to pay their workers for missed shifts during the state of emergency. While employers want to do whatever they can to help their employees, some simply are not in the position to be able to afford to pay for hours not worked during the state of emergency. The naming and shaming and characterization of those employers who can pay as “good,” and those who cannot pay as “bad” is an oversimplification of a complex decision and a divisive and disappointing approach. Businesses are struggling with issues like property damage, product lost due to spoilage, and a lack of cash flow/ income after being closed for a week. Many are concerned about the long term impact this closure will have. While we encourage employers to help their employees as best they can, this will be an individual business decision based on individual business circumstances.
There are also other ways businesses are helping their employees, like cash advances, extra shifts, bonuses, etc. Businesses are a vital part of the community and we are encouraging people to recognize all the positive stories of businesses helping the community during this SOE, to respect that this situation is challenging for all involved.