COVID-19: Worker Rights and Responsibilities

All Canadian provinces and territories have laws in place to protect the health and safety of workers. Learn what your rights and responsibilities as a worker in Canada are.

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Worker Rights and Responsibilities Infographic and its text description

Infographic: COVID-19: Worker Rights and Responsibilities

Description: COVID-19: Worker Rights and Responsibilities

Workers' Rights

All Canadian provinces and territories have laws in place to protect the health and safety of workers. The laws provide all workers with the following three rights:

  1. Right to know
    • About hazards in the workplace, including potential exposure to COVID-19, and how to protect yourself.
  2. Right to participate
    • Through your health and safety representative or safety committee.
    • By discussing health and safety concerns with your supervisor.
  3. Right to refuse unsafe work
    • That you believe is dangerous to your health and safety or that of another worker.
    • Immediately report work refusals to your supervisor and follow the specific steps for your province or territory.

Worker Responsibilities

  1. Protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Follow all public health guidance. For example:
    • Isolate or quarantine
      • when you first arrive in Canada or if you test positive for COVID-19
    • Daily screening for COVID-19 symptoms
      • wear a mask, notify your supervisor, and stay away from others if feeling sick
    • Maintain physical distancing
      • maintain the greatest physical distance possible from other people (at least 2 metres)
    • Wear a non-medical mask
      • when close to other people, or when required by your employer
    • Practice good hygiene
      • wash or sanitize your hands often
  2. Work Safely.
    • Follow all health and safety laws, company rules and safe work procedures
  3. Hazards.
    • There are hazards in every workplace. Know how to protect yourself and others from these hazards
    • Be alert to hazards and report them immediately to your supervisor or employer
  4. Training
    • Attend and participate in health and safety training
  5. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
    • Properly wear any PPE required by your employer
    • Examples of PPE include eye protection, safety boots, gloves, coveralls, and respirators
  6. Equipment and Machines.
    • Use all equipment and machines the way you were trained to use them
    • Never remove any protective device (e.g., guards)
  7. Communicate.
    • If you have any concerns or are unsure about how to work safely discuss with your supervisor or employer
  8. Report Injuries or Illness.
    • If you are injured or become sick at the workplace immediately report it to your supervisor or employer
For further information on COVID-19, refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada

Document last updated on: 2021-01-28