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The chief executives of some of the biggest corporations in Canada, including the six big banks, are urging other executives to take immediate steps combat the spread of the coronavirus in the workplace.Kathryn Hatashita-Lee, Photographer/iStock

The heads of 113 of Canada’s largest companies are urging other top executives to take immediate steps to escalate the fight in the workplace against the novel coronavirus.

In an open letter, the executives say other companies need to adopt stringent measures to limit the spread of the virus, while acknowledging there will be a “significant economic impact.”

“We urge every leader in the country to immediately shift focus to the singular objective of slowing the pace of transmission of this coronavirus,” the joint letter states.

The signatories include the chief executives of some of the biggest corporations in Canada, including Power Corp., Maple Leaf Foods Inc., Teck Resources Ltd. – and all of Canada’s six big banks.

The letter also thanks health-care workers for their efforts, “on behalf of all of us, including millions of colleagues and employers.”

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Among the measures the signatory companies are enacting and urge others to enact:

  • urging employees to avoid non-essential travel, both for business and personal reasons;
  • allow employees to work from home for non-critical functions, and to cancel in-person gatherings or events;
  • work with government, when needed, to ensure sick pay for workers;
  • make sure that mental-health supports are in place;
  • develop clear guidelines to protect employees who must remain on the job because they provide critical services;
  • share advice from public-health agencies as part of consistent and clear communication, including information on what each company is doing to enact that guidance.

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