COVID-19

COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. In short order, the world of work changed dramatically in Canada. Non-essential businesses were locked down. Some workers lost their jobs; others were sent home to work. Essential businesses kept going. Despite protections, workers in sectors ranging from health care to transportation to food production and retail faced risk of infection, illness and even death. IWH researchers are looking at the impact of the pandemic on workers and workplaces, and what it means going forward.

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A masked worker riding a bus
At Work article

COVID worries highest among workers with both physical, mental health disabilities

People with both physical and mental health disabilities were the most concerned about their work, health and finances during the early part of the pandemic.
Published: July 30, 2021
Close-up of a hand holding a surgical mask and a laptop case
At Work article

What research can do: COVID-related research from IWH: findings to watch for

IWH pandemic-related research includes collaborations with external organizations and modifications of ongoing studies. Here's a look at the findings to come.
Published: June 2, 2021
A masked worker riding a bus
At Work article

COVID worries highest among workers with both physical, mental health disabilities

People with both physical and mental health disabilities were the most concerned about their work, health and finances during the early part of the pandemic.
Published: July 2021
Close-up of a hand holding a surgical mask and a laptop case
At Work article

What research can do: COVID-related research from IWH: findings to watch for

IWH pandemic-related research includes collaborations with external organizations and modifications of ongoing studies. Here's a look at the findings to come.
Published: June 2021
A masked young woman works at a hotel reception desk
At Work article

Education, type of work lessen pandemic job loss in youths with rheumatic diseases

Young adults with rheumatic diseases have generally faced greater challenges in the job market than their healthy peers. That was why an IWH research team set out to examine their work experiences during the pandemic.
Published: June 2021
An illustration of young people helping each other climb out of a mountain crevice
At Work article

Nine trends that will likely shape future of work for groups of vulnerable workers

Climate change, artificial intelligence, robotics and automation. The world of work will look very different in the next two decades as a result of major system-wide changes. What might it hold for vulnerable workers?
Published: April 2021
The Conversation logo
IWH in the media

What employers can learn from the NBA about returning to work amid COVID-19

The response of employers to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a mixed bag. As the economy reopens, employers face new challenges navigating health and productivity pitfalls when bringing workers back to physical premises. The National Basketball Association’s experiences returning to the hard court last season was a well-publicized achievement. IWH Scientist Dr. Arif Jetha and Public Health Ontario's Dr. Brendan Smith list four important lessons from the NBA for employers on how to return employees to the workplace during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published: The Conversation, April 2021
Masked restaurant worker prepares take-out food orders
At Work article

What research can do: Workplace COVID outbreaks reported by Ontario public health account for one in 20 cases in working-age adults

In the second wave of the pandemic so far, outbreaks in essential service workplaces (excluding health-care, congregate living and educational settings) have contributed just over five per cent of all cases among working-age adults in Ontario.
Published: March 2021
Masked restaurant worker prepares take-out food orders
Issue Briefing

Incidence of COVID-19 transmission in Ontario workplaces

As the incidence of diagnosed cases escalates in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario, it is important to understand the degree to which employment in the essential service sectors represents an increased risk of infection. This Issue Briefing examines what the available data says about the role of workplaces in COVID-19 transmission in Ontario, the relative contribution of workplace outbreaks to case numbers, and current information gaps at the population level.
Published: January 2021