Canadian Lawyer InHouse

August/September 2020

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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Page 33 of 43

32 DEPARTMENT PROFILE MORNEAU SHEPELL: FAST FACTS Is a provider of technology-enabled HR services Has been in operations for more than 50 years Employs approximately 6,000 staff Legal team consists of six lawyers, one privacy officer, one director of risk and a senior analyst Staff work with 24,000 client organizations in 162 countries SINCE THE COVID-19 crisis forced the majority of Morneau Shepell's workforce to switch to a remote working environment earlier this year, the legal department has been busy guiding the organization through a complex transition. In addition to supporting different areas of the enterprise in standard legal matters and business continuity planning, the team — consisting of six lawyers, one privacy officer, one director of risk and a senior risk analyst — now plays a considerable part in leading stakeholders through the pandemic. "I would view us as having shifted into areas that are not only legal, as we are now really advising on best practices, having to think through new problems and strategies and really supporting the entire pandemic response team to achieve our objectives and continuing operations in a way that is mindful of health and safety obligations," says Rosie Kogan, vice president, legal. General counsel and corporate secretary Susan Marsh has taken on the role of executive sponsor and lead of the organiza- tion's pandemic response group, which was established in early 2020. Together with representatives from human resources, IT, communications and other areas of the Focusing on mental health Legal leaders at Morneau Shepell discuss pandemic response strategies and mental health support for anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis business, Marsh examines all aspects of the pandemic response, including everything from the shift to working from home through to the strategy for slowly returning to the office. "It's really part of business continuity planning and crisis management," says Marsh. Focusing on mental well-being continues to be a priority at Morneau Shepell. The organization's internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy program, which launched in 2018, has been ramped up to offer additional mental health services during the pandemic, with the support of the legal department. "At the outset of the pandemic, there was a recognized need for having a module within that program that was specific to pandem- ic-related anxiety," says Kogan. "It continues to cover a number of areas including depression and sleep so the team was able to come up with a module that specifically responds to the pandemic and we've been really proud to see it adopted by a number of organizations and also at a provincial level." The online program was rolled out by governments in Ontario and Manitoba for all residents over the age of 16. It helps people develop skills and strategies to address symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety and

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