COVID-19–Protocol For In-Person Mediations
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canada Industrial Relations Board (the Board) favours the virtual method of holding hearings or mediations. In-person mediations with the parties will be held exceptionally and for well-defined reasons.
When preparing for an in-person mediation at the Board, the parties must review and respect the following directives in order to ensure that the proceedings take place safely. The industrial relations officer will discuss the directives with the parties before the mediation and may make any modifications necessary in response to the particular circumstances of each case.
1. The mediation rooms have been reconfigured in order to allow for physical distancing between mediation participants. Each party will be limited to two individuals. In the event that a party requires more than two individuals, please advise the industrial relations officer. The individuals will be assigned to seats prior to the mediation.
2. The small caucus rooms will be limited to two individuals per room.
3. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance to the room, and each participant will be required to wash their hands before entering.
4. Wipes will also be available at each table in the mediation room. Each participant is responsible for wiping their table and chair down when leaving the room.
5. Participants must ensure that they dispose of their trash in the trash cans before leaving.
6. Documents to be presented during the mediation must be shared electronically with the other parties prior to the start of the mediation, if possible. If documents must be shared during the mediation, this must also be done electronically, since no paper document shall be shared during the mediation.
7. The parties must provide the name and contact information of the individuals who will be present at the mediation. Any changes must be shared with the industrial relations officer as soon as possible.
8. All participants are responsible for following the public health guidelines in relation to COVID 19 and must take all necessary steps to self-isolate if they are symptomatic or have tested positive for the virus.
9. An individual scheduled to attend the mediation cannot attend if they have any of the following symptoms:
- onset or worsening cough
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- fever of 38°C or higher
- feeling feverish
- fatigue or weakness
- muscle or body aches
- loss of smell or taste
- gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting)
- extreme discomfort
Participants will not be allowed to attend an in-person mediation if any of the following apply to them:
- they have symptoms of COVID-19 (listed above), even if they are mild, the day of or in the 14 days prior to the hearing;
- they received a diagnosis of COVID-19, or are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 screening test;
- they have been in contact with a suspected, probable or confirmed case of COVID 19;
- they have been informed by a public health representative that they may have been exposed to COVID-19;
- they have returned from travel outside of Canada in the 14 days prior to the mediation.
At the start of the mediation, each person must confirm that they have read the directives and confirm that none of the criteria listed above applies to them.
10. Individuals must maintain physical distancing of two metres with others at all times. They are also expected to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow and immediately clean their hands with a disinfectant product.
11. Masks are mandatory at all times and during movements to enter or exit the room. Masks will also be available on request.
12. No pitchers of water or glasses will be available during the mediation. Participants must bring their own water bottles.
Please note that the Board may cancel the mediation if it feels that a participant poses a risk for the transmission of COVID-19.
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