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Coronavirus Response and Preparedness

A message from Morneau Shepell to our client organizations regarding the Coronavirus 

As you will know from media reports, a new flu-like coronavirus (the Novel Coronavirus) has been reported in a number of cities around the world in recent weeks. Local, national and international health authorities are actively engaged in monitoring the spread of the virus and providing updates and recommendations to individuals and companies.

Morneau Shepell is actively monitoring the situation and its impact across all the geographies where we operate as part of our Business Continuity Plan (BCP). In addition to our ongoing business continuity planning activities, we have significant experience managing the wide-scale impact of health related pandemic issues from SARS and H5N1. This experience includes both our approach to ensuring that service remains available to you, our clients and your people, and the additional support that you may require from us.

This document is intended to provide our clients with:

1. An overview of Morneau Shepell’s business continuity planning activities, governance and employee support and wellbeing programs; and 2. An overview of the Morneau Shepell support programs available to our client organizations and their employees.


Management’s Assertion Morneau Shepell’s Business Continuity Plan

Morneau Shepell has a crisis leadership team responsible for pandemic plan implementation with executive membership and representation from each functional area of our organization including account management, clinical, business operations, communications, facilities, human resources and IT.

Throughout our planning and preparedness activities, our actions are aligned to the level of threat, the level of impact and potential for escalation in one region, before others.

Our Business Continuity Plan includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Designation of essential operations and plans to reassign staff from non-critical functions if employee absence is a threat.
  • Review and assurance that our IT infrastructure is able to support an increase in remote work, and manage any added load to client facing or service delivery technology that may occur. This includes an increase in the use of video, telephonic and digital counselling modalities, and an increase in the use of the LifeWorks app by our client organizations, for company posts.
  • Further ensuring that we have multiple levels of redundancy, should a critical system fail.
  • Assessment of the risk level of any vendors or other parties that we depend on, and requiring confirmation from critical vendors that they have a robust business continuity plan (BCP) and are able to deploy as needed.
  • An internal communications plan to ensure that the business continuity plan, updates and changes can be communicated in real time to those who need to know specific information; and those who need to take a new action, that the information has been received and action taken as appropriate.
  • Confirmation of the chain of command and back-ups for leaders and critical roles.


  • The crisis leadership team ensures that leaders in each technical and operational domain executes their accountability as indicated, and plans are updated as new information warrants.
  • A central function is assigned to ensure that leaders and others have real-time access to public health information and recommended practices for each of our key geographies.
  • A centralized repository for information is used to ensure that critical information, decisions and plans are documented and easily accessible.

Support for the health and wellbeing of our people

  • We leverage multiple channels to communicate information that is in line with public health recommendations for health, hygiene and prudent action.
  • Additional communication and management oversight is implemented in work environments where the transmission of respiratory illness is typically more prevalent (e.g. call centres).
  • Policy and practices are established to limit face-to-face meetings and travel when the risk level is high.
  • Reminders of the availability of EAP for emotional support are communicated frequently.
  • We ensure absence recording is consistent as high absence levels may trigger some BCP actions.
  • Additional actions are taken in line with occupational health and public health practices as they emerge.

Morneau Shepell’s support to our clients and their people

We fully recognize that the threat posed by the Novel Coronavirus may cause anxiety among your people and their families. We also recognize the potential for mental and physical strain on your people, given the impact of deploying your own BCP plan and dealing with any increased absence within your own organization. Given this, our plan also includes ongoing information to our clients, communications for your people, individual service to your people and critical incident support.

For our LifeWorks clients

For clients in all of Morneau Shepell’s lines of business and additional services available to LifeWorks’ clients

  • Information that can be shared with your people, to support the management of anxiety, selfcare and support to children.
  • Ad hoc access to LifeWorks’ services.
  • Internet Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Canada)
  • Attendance tracking (Canada and US).
  • Disability management services (Canada and US).

Our commitment to you

Morneau Shepell is committed to the continuity of all our services, and partnering with our clients to support the health and wellbeing of their people throughout this period of escalated concern and on an ongoing basis.

Your Morneau Shepell representative is available to answer questions or provide additional support as indicated.