It’s a troubling world out there right now. COVID-19 discussions are dominating the media, with reports of more confirmed cases and ever-increasing death tolls intermingled with stories of quarantining, panic buying, and economic disruption. The coronavirus has caught the world off guard and it’ll take a concerted worldwide effort to stem the tide and flatten the curve—but I have hope. Individuals and organizations around the world are doing their part to contribute to the solution, from immunologists researching a vaccine and frontline healthcare workers risking their lives to help those in need to pharmacies and grocery stores remaining open to serve their communities.
Solidarity with Canadian businesses
As an HR tech company immersed in the world of payroll and benefits, we’re seeing firsthand the dramatic impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on businesses across the country. Our phones are ringing off the hook with enquiries about termination and layoff processes, generating records of employment (ROE), applying for subsidies, and changing benefits as the financial toll of closures and cancellations forces companies to reduce and reorganize their workforces. It’s a painful new reality that many Canadians are facing.
Thankfully, in true Canadian spirit, companies everywhere are stepping up to help in this time of crisis and it’s truly inspiring. Nearly all Internet service providers have removed their data caps so employees can work from home without incurring extra charges; Hootsuite is offering free access to its professional social media scheduling tools so that businesses can preserve customer relationships; Shaw opened up its more than 100,000 WiFi hotspots across Canada to the public to help people stay connected.
We’re all global citizens and we need to band together to navigate this new normal. At Rise, we’re doing our small part to help Canadian companies and their employees in this unprecedented situation. To ease the financial hardship and streamline HR processes that are being relied on heavily during the pandemic, we’re offering our group benefits online management tool, Rise Benefits Essentials, free of charge to clients of our partner organization, Sun Life. This tool will help Sun Life’s clients—thousands of businesses across Canada—manage their group benefits simply and conveniently. And they can do it all while working from home. Until the pandemic subsides, we will also be offering new Rise clients the opportunity to sign up for free access to Rise HR and Payroll until December 31.
Continuing to serve
We’re keenly aware that many companies rely on us to ensure their employees are paid on time and accurately. As the situation with COVID-19 evolves, Rise remains operational and ready to serve our clients. The Rise platform is supported in a “high-availability” model, meaning our system is designed to be continuously operational, and we maintain redundant data centres which are tested on a regular basis for your peace of mind.
From a talent perspective, we’ve implemented a business continuity plan to ensure that Rise personnel are working from remote locations during regular business hours. Our clients can rest assured that they can rely on us to continue to support all of their payroll, HR, and benefits administration needs during this challenging period.
Related Reading: Resilience in the Face of the Unpredictable
In this extraordinary time, we’re committed more than ever to helping Canadian businesses support their people. We’re continuing to fulfill our mission to enhance the employee experience through better engagement and a focus on health and financial wellbeing—whether people are working remotely from their kitchen table or back at the office somewhere down the road.
And as we all watch the development of the pandemic with feelings of uncertainty and concern, we can be inspired by people from all corners of the global community who are standing by each other in this exceptional time. As American politician Bob Kerrey rightly noted, “Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” Stay safe, take care of each other, and we’ll get through this together.
President, Rise People