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Saskatchewan Crown corporations plan for employees to return to office

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan Crown corporations plan for employees to return to office' Saskatchewan Crown corporations plan for employees to return to office
WATCH: Crown corporations in Saskatchewan are beginning to plan for when their employees return back to the office. – Jun 12, 2020

As Saskatchewan continues to ease COVID-19 restrictions, there’s been a lot of questions surrounding Crown corporation employees returning to work.

The majority of workers have been doing their job from home since the middle of March, after the province declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic on March 18.

With Phase 3 underway, and plans for Phase 4 to be released sometime next week, Crown corporations are preparing for their employees to return to the office, but at their own discretion.

READ MORE: SaskTel taking steps to ensure network performs during COVID-19 pandemic

“Crown corporations are each developing their own individual plans for a gradual return to the workplace,” the province said Friday in an email to Global News.

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“Those plans are proceeding with the objective to ensure safety for both employees and customers based on the advice from public health officials.”

SaskTel is bringing back its full leadership team including executive and directors on June 15, who will focus on preparing its office for other employees returning in the future.

On July 2, SaskTel is planning to have 25 per cent of its employees back in the office, 50 per cent by mid-July, 75 per cent by the beginning of August and a 100 per cent of its employees back by Aug. 17.

Despite its plan, SaskTel said it is renewing its Work for Home Program, but no details have been finalized.

“Keeping our employees safe is a top priority and SaskTel has put in place many health and safety measures,” SaskTel said in an email sent to Global News on Friday.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan’s SGI issues temporary layoffs amid coronavirus pandemic

“These include limited access to buildings, increased cleaning of all frequent touchpoints, availability of cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer throughout buildings as well as updated signage regarding physical distancing and hand hygiene.

“In all SaskTel Stores Plexiglas workstations have been installed, floor markers note physical distancing requirements, and the number of customers is restricted.”

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Saskatchewan Government Insurance said 92 per cent of its staff, about 1,900 people, have been working from home since during the pandemic.

Those numbers dropped to about 75 per cent after SGI re-opened customer facing services earlier this week including its claims centres, salvage centre sales counters, issuing counters and driver exam offices.

“There is no specific date for returning all employees back to SGI locations. We expect that the majority of employees who are able to productively work from home will be there potentially another month or two,” said Tyler McMurchy, SGI spokesperson.

READ MORE: Sask. Crown employees ratify new collective bargaining agreement

“Safety of our employees is critical to us and SGI is actively working to ensure strict safety protocols are in place for those returning.  Until such a time that physical distancing is lifted, and we can all work safely together, we will continue with reduced employees on-site.”

SaskPower said it will start bringing employees back into the office beginning in July, and will continue through the summer months.

“The safety and health of the public and SaskPower employees are of the utmost importance and were taken into consideration while developing the guidelines to return employees to the workplace,” SaskPower told Global News on Friday via email.

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“It’s important to remember that SaskPower is an essential service, and as such a significant number of our workforce has continued working in their regular physical locations with safety protocols in place since March.”

In the case of SaskWater, it has 64 employees working from home while the 68 employees continued working in the field.

“SaskWater has created a return to work plan and began phasing employees back to work on Monday, June 8. All 64 employees who had been working from home will return to the workplace by July 6,” SaskWater told Global News Friday in an email.

“The return to work plan includes a number of precautions and measures being put in place to ensure that our employees are safe and feel safe upon returning to our head office and other locations throughout the province. SaskWater has no plans to have employees work from home permanently at this point.”

Click to play video: 'Over 1,000 striking Crown employees rally in downtown Regina' Over 1,000 striking Crown employees rally in downtown Regina
Over 1,000 striking Crown employees rally in downtown Regina – Oct 11, 2019

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