Supporting frontline and essential workers: The importance of decent work during a pandemic

Watch the recording.

From physical distancing to managing emotional and physical stress, frontline and essential workers are facing increasing challenges as they support communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has raised the curtain on how these workers and their work are under-valued. How can we support these workers during and after the crisis? By implementing and advocating for decent work.

During this panel discussion you will:

  • Apply lessons from international humanitarian organizations to learn how to lead staff on the frontlines during the crisis and beyond

  • Hear examples of how local nonprofits are supporting their staff through decent work initiatives such as mental health supports

  • Discuss ways organizations can use a network approach to supporting frontline and essential staff

  • Learn why using a gender lens is essential for all supports

  • Listen to a live question and answer period with local and international experts


Tamara Daly
Tamara Daly is a Professor at York University, Director of the York University Centre of Aging Research and Education, and Director of the SSHRC Partnership for Age-Friendly Communities within Communities.  She recently held a CIHR Research Chair in Gender, Work and Health (2013- 2018). Her research focus is on long-term care in international comparison; gender and health equity; social care policy; quality working conditions, and aged care across international cities.  She employs multiple methods to conduct comparative, historically-situated and critically-oriented policy research in the areas of care work organization, and access to care by seniors and immigrants; and women’s health. Her theoretical contributions are in health services research, feminist political economy and labour process theory.  She has authored numerous academic and plain language publications, is the recipient of teaching and research awards, and actively supervises graduate students in research and publication.

Connie Ndlovu
Connie is as a PSW in the nonprofit sector.  She has been working in the sector for the past 15 years and was recently a speaker at Nonprofit Driven 2019. Like Connie, many PSWs in the sector are juggling more than one job just to make ends meet at home. There is a critical need for PSWs in the province and it is important that the sector is sustained through consistent adequate funding that also takes into account supporting decent wages and job security for the personnel in the sector.

Paula Tenaglia
Paula has been working together with communities, governments and civil society in the global humanitarian and development sector for over 15 years.  Working across Central America and East and West Africa for over a decade, Paula has provided leadership to humanitarian country teams for the delivery of assistance in countries affected by natural disasters and conflict.  In addition to her programming work, she led Action Against Hunger’s establishment of a learning and development center for humanitarian professionals in East Africa. Paula is currently the Director of Operations at Action Against Hunger Canada and together with her team and with countries worldwide works on innovative solutions towards global hunger with a specific focus on nutrition, gender equality, gender-based violence and safeguarding.

May 28, 2020

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