COVID-19 & Legislation Updates | Weekly Workplace Recap from December 24 to December 30, 2021

Below are the key COVID-19 & legislation topics that touch on the workplace from December 24 to December 30, 2021.


Feds temporarily expand access to Lockdown Program and Worker Lockdown Benefit 

Ottawa has announced it will temporarily expand eligibility for key support programs to protect workers and businesses. The government intends to introduce new regulations that would:

  • Expand the Local Lockdown Program to include employers subject to capacity-limiting restrictions of 50% or more; and reduce the current-month revenue decline threshold requirement to 25%. 
  • Expand the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit to include workers in regions where provincial or territorial governments have introduced capacity-limiting restrictions of 50% or more. 

These updated regulations will apply from Dec 19, 2021, to Feb 12, 2022.

News Release & Backgrounder


Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program: applications opening January 2022

The Ontario government is introducing the new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program to support many of the businesses that are most impacted by public health measures in response to the Omicron variant.

Eligible businesses will receive rebate payments equivalent to 50% of the property tax and energy costs they incur while they are subject to the current capacity limits. Examples of eligible businesses include:

  • restaurants
  • smaller retail stores
  • gyms

A full list of eligible business types will be available through a program guide in mid-January 2022.

Online applications for this program will open in mid-January 2022. Payments to eligible businesses will be retroactive to December 19, 2021.

News Release


Health measures expanded for facilities, venues and events participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program

The Record of Decision - CMOH Order 59-2021 was issued on December 24, 2021. The order outlines additional health measures for facilities, venues and events participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program to protect Albertans against the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

The new order amends CMOH Order 54-2021 by adding:

  • Occupational limits
  • Interactive activity restrictions
  • Table restrictions
  • Liquor service and operating hours restrictions

CMOH Order 59-2021

British Columbia

New relief grant of up to $10,000 coming for businesses ordered to close due to COVID-19

B.C. businesses that were mandated to temporarily shut down through public health orders because of surging COVID-19 cases will be eligible to receive a new one-time relief grant of up to $10,000.

The COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant will supplement federal support programs and provide funding to help affected businesses alleviate some financial pressures and help with expenses including rent, employee wages, insurance, maintenance and utilities.

Applications for the grant will begin in January 2022. More information on how to apply will be made available over the next few weeks, with the application process open until the end of February 2022.

News Release


Sarah Visca
Sarah Visca is the Operations Manager at ConnectsUs HR, a company that provides tools & resources to quickly set up a Human Resources department.  
You can contact her here