The holiday season is a busy time for employers. Besides business, they also have HR and health and safety obligations to attend to.
There are substitute holidays to account for and vacation requests to accommodate. December is also a time for planning holiday social events and preparing for safety risks created by inclement winter weather.
Statutory holidays 2022
There are three statutory holidays in 2022 that occur during the holiday season—Christmas Day, Boxing Day (Ontario only), and New Year’s Day. For the 2022 holiday season, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day both fall on a Sunday, while Boxing Day falls on a Monday.
As two of these holidays are on the weekends, employees in Ontario, BC, and Alberta will receive a paid day off on Monday, December 26 and Monday, January 2. Additionally, Ontario employees will also get the day off on Tuesday, December 27 to account for Boxing Day.
Winter health and safety measures
Slips, trips, and falls increase during winter as the temperatures drop. It is important that employers take steps to reduce the risk of injury due to snow and ice.
Employers should ensure they have implemented winter health and safety measures such as plowing, salting, and maintaining parking lots and walkways, installing slip-resistant tape in stairwells, placing carpets in entryways to avoid excessive water, and providing outdoor workers with all necessary equipment.
Seasonal mental health concerns
With daylight saving time in place and the first official day of winter fast approaching, it’s important to keep in mind that some of your employees may experience symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
SAD is a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons. It is most prevalent in the fall and winter months. Employers should watch for signs of depression or burnout in staff and ensure they have mental health resources and Employee Assistance Programs in place to help.
While the holidays are a time of celebration and reunion for many, at this time of year, there are also employees who may be struggling with stress, social isolation, and depression. It is important that employers are inclusive, understanding, flexible and communicative. This will help ensure your staff finds healthy coping mechanisms and is able to take care of their mental health.
Do you need help creating HR and health and safety policies for the holiday season?
Our experts can help you with company policies as well as with any other health and safety and human resource management issues that may arise. To learn more about how our services can benefit your business, call an expert today at 1 (833) 247-3652.