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Employers adjusted quickly to COVID-19: ADP Canada survey

But there is room for additional support when it comes to mental health, say Canadian workers


April 29, 2020
By Talent Canada Staff

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Employers adapted quickly to the reality of COVID-19, according to a survey of  workers conducted on behalf of ADP Canada.

Nearly 90 per cent of respondents said their organizations have adapted quickly to the new normal, with new policies and procedures related to the pandemic being rolled out to protect the workforce. Most employers are also providing tangible resources for remote work and 75 per cent are providing regular, timely updates about the pandemic to their teams.

A couple of highlights from the survey results:

  • 89 per cent of working Canadians said their employer has updated existing policies or introduced new ones as a result of COVID-19
  • 75 per cent said their employers provide regular and timely updates on the pandemic. This number was higher (80 per cent) for workers in government, healthcare, education and business or professional services
  • Nearly three out of five employers (59 per cent) are providing additional resources for employees to work from home.

Room for improvement on mental health

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But employers didn’t get glowing grades in all areas. There is room for improvement when it comes to supporting mental health, especially for workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

Less than half of health-care workers (46 per cent) and only a quarter (27 per cent) of those working in retail, food services, hospitality and warehouse/transportation said their employer is providing additional mental health support.

Across all industries, 45 per cent of respondents said their organizations are providing staff with additional mental health resources. This was particularly evident in respondents from Quebec, where only 27 per cent indicated that their company had provided additional mental health resources.

Although mental health supports may be limited in the retail/food service/hospitality sectors, employees working in these industries are the most likely to report receiving additional financial support from their employer with nearly half (44 per cent) stating that their organization is helping them financially. This, however, is not the norm, with less than one-quarter (24 per cent) of respondents overall stating that their employers are providing additional financial support.

Additional findings: Employer preparedness

Canadians are divided on whether their workplace was prepared for COVID-19. 44 per cent of respondents believe their workplace was prepared for the pandemic, while 51 per cent did not feel their workplace was prepared. These responses vary across provinces/territories and industries.

  • Only 39 per cent of healthcare workers felt their organization was prepared for the pandemic
  • Workers in Quebec (61 per cent) were most likely to say their workplace was not prepared for the pandemic
  • Over half of those in business and professional services (54 per cent) felt their organization was prepared – the highest across all industries.

The survey was conducted by Angus Reid on behalf of ADP Canada. This online survey of 756 working Canadians was completed between April 14 and 15, 2020, using Angus Reid’s online panel. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of 756 would yield a margin of error of +/-3.6%, 19 times out of 20.