FCT’s Updated Plans and Information Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Legal Professionals
To all our valued customers and partners,
FCT remains committed to providing a consistent level of service and supporting the health and safety of our customers, partners and employees. As many of you are aware, the World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and many major metropolitan areas have declared a state of emergency.
I understand the concern and confusion that this can cause and how it may prompt more questions about the impact to our business. As such, I wanted to personally update you on the measures we have in place to prepare for and limit potential impacts to our customers, employees and operations.
We have been closely monitoring the situation and have activated our Pandemic Response Plan. The Plan, developed with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), is a critical component of FCT’s Business Continuity Plan, which we have worked on for many years to ensure that we are able to stay ahead of issues of this nature. Our continuity planning addresses many scenarios, including mass absenteeism, failure of critical information technology systems, loss of facility (workspace) and failure of critical third-party service providers.
By implementing the Pandemic Response Plan, our objectives include controls to: minimize transmission of the virus within the workplace; minimize illness among employees, customers, contractors and visitors; maintain critical business activities across the organization and lessen financial impact.
Specific measures we have implemented, which are in line with FCT’s Business Continuity Plan, include:
- Requested that employees do not travel abroad and have implemented a self-isolation period of 14 days for those that have travelled outside of Canada;
- Encouraged all employees to work from home and distributed InfoSec training modules to ensure security measures are top of mind when working remotely;
- Required all nonessential in-person meetings to be conducted virtually (e.g. by using Zoom);
- Implemented social distancing strategies, including employee separation, shifting workloads and staggered work schedules;
- Offered gratuitous time off that does not impact vacation balances or sick days for those impacted by school closures or unique circumstances;
- Instructed all employees to stay home if they are feeling ill or presenting symptoms in line with COVID-19, as well as if family members or close contacts have contracted the virus; and
- Restricted access of all visitors to FCT offices.
We have enacted our Business Continuity Plan and remain focused on minimizing the potential impact on our business and delivering the highest quality of service to our customers.
For many years, we have worked on creating capabilities that ensure all employees are equipped with safe and secure digital infrastructures to facilitate working remotely and as of January 2020, provided all employees with updated technology that ensures secure access to shared networks. Today, the majority of our employees are already working from home and are not experiencing any service disruptions.
For our legal community, we are also looking at how our title insurance policy can be utilized even further to ensure that transactions are able to close as more challenges arise, such as registry office closures and clients performing remote signing due to self-isolation. To this length, we have already implemented extended 30-Day Gap Coverage and continue to look for ways to insure transactions during these difficult times.
As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we will continue to closely monitor for developments and will provide updates if our plans change. We have no doubt in our mind that business operations will continue to proceed as usual. We are in a strong position to continue to deliver the highest quality of service to all of our customers and are continuously looking for innovative and safe opportunities for FCT to continue to support you and ensure all real estate transactions close.
If you have any additional questions or require more information, please visit www.fct.ca/covid-19 for updates and resources related to COVID-19. Wishing all the best to you and your families in this challenging time.
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