Employees’ extraordinary efforts during COVID-19 recognized with extra paid personal days.
Winnipeg, MB, June 12, 2020. . . The Canada Life Assurance Company today announced employees will soon begin a phased approach to returning to the office. As a thank you and to help ensure everyone has a chance to refresh, more than 11,000 employees nation-wide are each being awarded two paid Canada Life Days on July 2 and 3, for an extra-long Canada Day celebration.
"Three months ago, we asked our employees to be flexible, adaptable, creative and resilient in the face of great change, disruption and uncertainty,” says Jeff Macoun, President and Chief Operating Officer, Canada, Canada Life. “We are so proud everyone rose to the challenge, as we knew they would, so we could continue to be there for our customers, advisors and each other every day. Canada Life Days are just one way we can thank our employees and help ensure their own mental health is a priority as they continue to support the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians.”
More than 95 per cent of Canada Life’s workforce has been working from home during COVID-19. After the Canada Day long weekend, the company will gradually increase the number of people returning to the office, beginning with those with vital roles that can best be done on-site. By the end of October, approximately 25 per cent of employees will potentially be back in the office.
Cathy Weaver, Senior-Vice President, Human Resources, Canada, Canada Life, affirms that the work from home experience has been successful thanks to the groundwork that had already been laid pre-COVID-19.
“We had invested in technology, developed flex work policies, and were ready to turn the challenge of COVID-19 into an opportunity to accelerate change, so we can be confident the majority of our employees will be able to continue working from home for the foreseeable future,” Weaver explains. “This is important because as a major employer across Canada, we believe communities are best served by keeping employees out of the office, particularly in reducing the stress on transit systems in major metropolitan centres.”
For the 25 per cent expected to return, Weaver says the office environment employees left in March is not the same office environment of the future. New standard protocols will be implemented. Distancing will be the foundation of how offices function, and all employees will be provided reusable masks. All team meetings will continue to be conducted on-line through the summer, even as the number of employees in the office increase. And while COVID-19 is still a major risk, travel restrictions will remain in place.
“Our goals are to keep employees and their families safe, and to keep our business moving forward and growing for our advisors and customers,” Weaver says. “We’ve created new ways of working that will be part of our lives long after COVID-19 has gone.”
About The Canada Life Assurance Company
Canada Life is a leading insurance, wealth management and benefits provider focused on improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians. For more than 170 years, individuals, families and business owners across Canada have trusted us to provide sound guidance and deliver on the promises we’ve made.
As of January 1, 2020, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life became one company – Canada Life, and today, we proudly serve more than 13 million customer relationships from coast to coast to coast.