HRPA stands in support of Ukraine during the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
As Canada is home to one of the largest foreign populations of Ukrainians, we know this crisis is deeply felt across workplaces in Ontario. With concerns for family and friends abroad, anxiety about the effects of war and myriad other emotions running high, now is the time for sensitivity, understanding and compassion. We have put together some suggestions for how HR professionals and employers can support their workers.
Supporting employees directly impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine:
- Show compassion by checking in on them and offering support. Be available to employees who seek support from HR, or from their leader.
- Prepare and equip managers and leaders to respond to employee requests and calls for support. Be lenient and willing to deprioritize work in favour of personal well-being.
- Remind them of resources available through your company’s EAP.
- Arrange for virtual counseling or an Ask the Expert session, at the company’s expense. Tap into personal crisis and trauma experts if/as needed.
- Provide them paid time off from work so they can focus on their personal situation.
- Extend your Paid Time Off policy to support any time away from work they may need.
- Offer interest-free loans to help employees pay for airfare or other transportation for family members who need to flee Ukraine. (Or, better yet, if your company has the financial means to do so, pay for it outright.)
Helping your workforce (and customers) show their support:
- Organize a rapid company fundraiser for humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, make a direct corporate donation, or offer to match donations made by employees or customers to humanitarian efforts.
- Facilitate humanitarian fundraising through payroll.
- Provide paid time off for employees to attend and participate in a march to support Ukraine.
- Include a prominent link to the Canadian Red Cross Ukrainian Humanitarian Crisis donation page on your company website home page, and on your company Intranet.
- Include the link to the UN Refugee Agency for charitable donations to support families forced to flee Ukraine as refugees.
- Encourage employees to seek out local, regional, or national Ukrainian agencies for more ideas and up-to-date information on what help is needed most urgently. An example you might share is the Ukrainian Canadian Congress or Unite with Ukraine or Razom
- Access the webinar recording “Becoming an HR Professional in Canada: An Informational Session for IEPs from Ukraine”
Note to Readers: The post above has not been produced in exclusion of the many crises and conflicts occurring across the world. We are suggesting ways HR leaders and employers can support employees affected by crises in other countries, referencing current and devastating events in Ukraine. We hope this post inspires organizations to support employees affected by any conflict or crisis. HRPA remains committed to inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility and regularly reviews ways to best reflect and support the diverse membership and public we serve.
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