First Reference Business Continuity Notice
re Coronavirus COVID-19
On behalf of everyone at First Reference, we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads globally, we want to share an update and keep you informed as it relates to the First Reference and our community.
We are carefully monitoring the public health and safety risk associated with the COVID-19 outbreak as part of our commitment to ensuring that we keep our employees and customers safe and informed.
The well-being of our customers and staff is our utmost priority and we will continue to update you on how we are dealing with the evolving risks that may impact business operations and upcoming events and activities.
On this page, you will find information regarding our services during the COVID-19 pandemic and measures we are taking to help customers and protect our employees to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
All First Reference services are up and running
Subscribers may access their products online as usual by visiting firstreference.com/signin/.
We will continue to update the content in our products and send our email newsletters with the latest compliance and best practice developments.
If it’s not practical to mail the print update releases, you can rely on the online versions and the e-newsletters that accompany our services.
You can set up your online account to access your services as follows:
- Go to myaccount.firstreference.com
- Click the “My Account” button at the top right
- Enter your email address
- Click “Forgot your password”
- You will receive an email with instructions for setting up your password
From your First Reference account, you can:
- Access your subscriptions
- Change your preferences
- Update your contact information
- Make a payment
- Take a trial of a different service
If you are looking for pandemic-related policies or wondering how to access them in PolicyPro, see the section below, titled Find the pandemic-related policies in PolicyPro.
We will do our best to respond to your queries promptly
You can contact our Ask the Editor, customer service, technical support, and sales teams in the usual ways, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
We are here to answer your questions and provide the technical support you need.
Questions About Coronavirus & Workplace
Bookmark the page for daily updates!
We encourage customers to pay online
Ready to subscribe? Time to renew? We recommend you pay online through our secure payments server. We will provide an invoice as usual.
While this method of payment is a best practice during this time of increased attention to hygiene, it is a practical and easy method at any time.
To renew, simply follow the instructions on the invoice you receive in the mail or by email.
To pay online, follow these steps:
- Log into your First Reference account at myaccount.firstreference.com.
- Go to the Billing & Statements tab
- Find your product in the Subscriptions table
- Click “Annual Subscription” to pay annually or “Start Monthly Subscription Plan” to pay on a month-to-month basis. Note there may be differences in price between annual and monthly plans.
- Select your jurisdiction, if necessary
- Follow the instructions from there
We recommend employers update their policies and post them online
With many employees (including ours) working from home during the pandemic and the federal and provincial governments making changes to workplace laws, it is an important time to ensure your policies and procedures are up to date and to post them online so staff can access them.
Employees will likely have many questions about existing policies or legislated changes to policy (e.g., employment insurance) as a result of the pandemic.
It is always a best practice to make policies and procedures available to employees online so they can access them any time they need, but it is especially important now that they may not have access to physical copies of a policy manual.
During this emergency, employers must continue to follow all applicable workplace-related laws, e.g., employment standards, health and safety, human rights, accessibility.
For instance, most employers are required to post a copy of the occupational health and safety law in a place where employees can access it, like a lunchroom bulletin board, but if everybody is working from home, where can they access it?
It is also an important time to ensure supervisors and staff know their roles and responsibilities. Asking employees to review policies that apply to them will go a long way to helping everyone understand what is required of them.
Find the pandemic-related policies in PolicyPro
As mentioned, all First Reference services are up and running and you may access them in the usual way. Instructions for setting up your online account are above.
We are continuing to update the PolicyPro policy template databases during the pandemic and we will use the bi-weekly Inside Policies e-newsletter to notify subscribers of policies that have been changed or added.
Within the PolicyPro platform, you can tell which policies have been updated recently looking in the file tree on the left. Regular policies are blue. Recently updated ones are green.
There are several important policies for handling pandemics and other emergencies in Human Resources PolicyPro. Follow these steps to find them.
- In PolicyPro online, go to the My PolicyPro tab
- Click the HRPP manual in the policy tree (it could be ABPP, ATPP, BCPP, MSPP or ONPP)
- Click Chapter F: 6:00 Health and Safety
- Scroll to the bottom of the list; the Pandemic section starts at policy 6.50
- Click the policy title to see the overview and commentary
- Click the arrow beside the title to see the policy and associated quiz
The Pandemic section includes these policies:
- 6.50 Pandemic Planning Overview
- 6.51 Fitness to Work
- 6.52 Restricted Access
- 6.53 Work From Home
- 6.54 Declared Emergencies
- 6.55 Contact Control and Monitoring During a Pandemic
- 6.56 Healthy Workplace in a Pandemic
- 6.57 Pandemic Crisis Support
- 6.58 Hazardous Duty Incentive Program During a Pandemic
If any of them are green, you will know they have been updated recently and may require attention or action.
Start your free 30-day trial of PolicyPro®
It can help distribute policies to staff working from home
No credit card, no obligation!
We want to help
Employers need to remain informed of any emergency measures being put in place by federal, provincial, territorial and local governments.
Staying informed ensures that your business continuity or emergency preparedness plan is up-to-date during the pandemic. This will prepare you if a state of emergency is made and your organization is forced to close.
Below are links to community information on COVID-19 in all 14 jurisdictions:
- Federal Public Health Agency of Canada
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
- Northwest Territories
The following are additional sources of information useful to manage your emergency preparedness and response plan:
- World Health Organization – Coronavirus
- Public Health – hand hygiene
- Travel Advice and Advisories
- For workplaces
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US)
First Reference has also updated and re-published its Emergency response and business continuity plan guide. Subscribers can download it for free. Look for the email we sent you with the subject, “Special for subscribers: COVID-19 Response Planning”.
Subscribers to HRinfodesk can find information on COVID-19 by going to the Search tool and using the keyword “Coronavirus“.
Our blog, First Reference Talks, also has several free articles on the topic of COVID-19.