COVID-19 & Legislation Updates | Weekly Workplace Recap from October 8 to October 14, 2021

Below are the key COVID-19 & legislation topics  that touch on the workplace from October 8 to October 14, 2021.


Employer groups call for boosted federal support

With Ottawa set to put an end to wage and rent subsidies for employers on Oct. 23, a couple of groups are calling on the federal government to immediately extend and expand these programs.

Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is urging Ottawa to immediately extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) to Nov. 20, and to work with members of parliament to further extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program, CEWS and CERS, to March 31, 2022.

News Release


Ontario cautiously lifting capacity limits in select settings

In keeping with the government’s cautious approach, effective Saturday, October 9, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., capacity limits will be lifted to allow 100%  capacity in the following settings:

  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas;
  • Spectator areas of facilities for sports and recreational fitness (would not include gyms, personal training);
  • Meeting and event spaces (indoor meeting and event spaces will still need to limit capacity to the number that can maintain physical distancing);
  • Horseracing tracks, car racing tracks, and other similar venues; and
  • Commercial film and television productions with studio audiences.

News Release

British Columbia

WorkSafeBC provides proof of vaccination information for employers

WorkSafeBC has created a COVID-19 BC Vaccine Card webpage where both workers and employers can find helpful information for providing and verifying proof of vaccination in the workplace.

To verify vaccination status, employers must review the BC Vaccine Card as well as a piece of photo ID that matches the name on the vaccine card. The requirement is in place until at least January 31, 2022. 

Employers can get additional information about how to check the vaccination status of patrons on the provincial government’s proof of vaccination information for businesses website.

New rules protecting young workers in effect Oct. 15

Employers are reminded that changes to employment standards that better protect young people will be in force on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021.

The changes raise the general working age in British Columbia from 12 to 16 and define the types of jobs that are appropriate for those under 16.

Find out more about the changes to the child employment permit process.

Mandatory Vaccinations

This topic now has its own section as the topic heats up and the list of employers who announce mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations grows.

Expect vaccine passports for travel 'in the next couple of months'

It could still be a while before Canadians can access a singular proof-of-vaccination system for international travel, according to Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc. LeBlanc said that while Ottawa is still aiming for a “fall” timeline to implement the framework, he expects it to go live "in the next couple of months.”

News Release

Alberta launches app for businesses to scan COVID-19 vaccine QR codes

The Alberta government has launched an app businesses can use to scan COVID-19 vaccine QR codes. The app, AB Covid Records Verifier, is available for download in the Apple and Android app stores. Much like the current proof-of-vaccination card, Albertans will scan their QR code when they enter a business participating in the province's Restrictions Exemption Program and show their ID.

News Release

B.C.'s vaccine mandate for long-term care staff and visitors now in effect

The deadline for B.C.’s vaccine mandate for long-term care and assisted living workers has arrived. Those who choose not to comply will be placed on leave without pay. Advocates have been calling for the policy for months now, as the Delta variant runs rampant in the province and outbreaks in long-term care continue.

News Release

Employers announcing Mandated Vaccination

Several Ontario hospitals enact mandatory vaccination policies for visitors

More than a dozen hospitals across Ontario are implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies for visitors, in addition to mandates for their staff. University Health Network in Toronto, which enacted an early vaccine mandate for staff that went beyond a provincial directive, is now planning to ask visitors for proof of full vaccination starting October 22.

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