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Ottawa releases guidance to help government, employers determine what workers are essential

April 3, 2020
By Talent Canada Staff

The federal government has released guidance to help government at all levels — and employers — determine the types of workers considered essential.

“Through this incredibly challenging time, Canadians want the services they rely on every day for their health and safety and economic well-being to continue,” said Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. “We have put together this guidance to help support critical infrastructure employers in identifying and managing their workforce while responding to COVID-19.”

It provides a list of services and functions across Canada’s 10 critical infrastructure sectors. The critical sectors are:

  • Energy and utilities
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Finance
  • Health
  • Food
  • Water
  • Transportation
  • Safety
  • Government
  • Manufacturing

The guide is designed to assist various jurisdictions and businesses in their decision-making around the types of employees considered essential to maintain the health, safety, security and economic well-being of Canadians throughout this health crisis


The guidance will support critical infrastructure employers in identifying and managing their workforce, while fostering alignment and harmonization across sectors.

It is non-binding and advisory in nature, and should not be considered to be a federal directive or standard, the government said.

The report, Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic, is available online.

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