Sask. ministries, agencies and Crown corporations moving to more employees working from home

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Executive government ministries, agencies and CIC Crown corporations in Saskatchewan are moving toward more employees working from home.

A statement from the province said management teams are planning to reduce the number of employees in offices while ensuring services can still be offered to Saskatchewan residents. The statement said not all positions will be able to work from home or remotely.

"As each organization has its own operational needs and service continuity plans and the numbers are changing on an ongoing basis, we don't have an estimate of what per cent of employees will be rotating or working from home," the province said.

Last week, the union representing some government employees called on the province to let people work from home.

Following complaints from Crown employees, Premier Scott Moe last week said he would revisit the possibility of Crown employees working from home.

Barry Nowoselsky, a Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union (SGEU) chairperson, said the union has been expecting the province to move toward work from home for a long time.

He said he'd seen numerous news conferences where Moe and chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab recommended people work from home where possible.

"It's late and quite frankly … they've dropped the ball on some of these things," Nowoselsky said.

"If they're going to have people start to work from home again, it's a step in the right direction."

He said he felt delays from the province in both mandating mask-use and getting employees back to working from home was dangerous, caused avoidable cases of COVID-19 and was ultimately disappointing.

Nowoselsky said he wasn't aware of a percentage of employees who were currently working from home, or who would be allowed to work from home with the change, but hoped those numbers would be provided by the government in the near future.