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COVID-19 Updates | Weekly Workplace Recap from August 21 to August 27, 2020

COVID-19 Resources for Small Business

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Below are the key announcements from the FederalOntario, and BC governments that touch on workplace issues from August 21 to August 27, 2020.


CEWS Extended for Furloughed Workers until September 26

The federal government is extending support for furloughed employees under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) by four weeks – from August 30 to September 26, 2020.  This extension will mean that employers who qualify for the CEWS will be able to continue to claim up to $847 per week to support remuneration for each of their furloughed employees. 

Further details about the calculation of CEWS for furloughed workers for remaining periods of the program will be announced in the next few weeks. 

For more information, check out this news release

$4 Million Invested in Northern Ontario's Communities & Businesses 

The Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages has announced that more than $4 million in federal investments will go towards helping Northern Ontario’s communities and businesses expand, prosper and create jobs. 

This funding will support 16 strategic initiatives in communities across Northern Ontario to:

  • Assist businesses to boost productivity and growth by matching skilled workers to employer needs.
  • Aid tourism organizations to attract more visitors with new product development that will extend their stay and increase their spending.
  • Help First Nations stimulate business growth and employment opportunities by enabling them to implement priority projects and develop new partnerships. 

For more information, check out this news release. 

New Temporary Public Policy Will Allow Visitors to Apply for a Work Permit Without Having to Leave Canada

Thanks to a new public policy announced on August 24, 2020, visitors currently in Canada who have received a valid job offer will be able to apply for an employer-specific work permit and receive that permit without having to leave the country.

This policy will help employers find the workers they need and allow for temporary residents who would like to contribute their labour and skills to aid in Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To be eligible, applicants must meet the following requirements: 

  • Have a valid status in Canada as a visitor on August 24, 2020 and remain in Canada. 
  • Have a job offer.
  • Submit an application for an employer-specific work permit no later than March 31, 2021.
  • Meet all other standard admissibility criteria.

This temporary policy change takes effect immediately.  For more information about this new public policy, check out this news release


Orders Extended under the Reopening Ontario Act, 2020

All orders under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 have been extended to September 22, 2020, with the following exceptions:

  • The Education Sector order will end on August 31, 2020.

  • The Limitation Periods order will end and suspended time periods will resume running on September 14, 2020.

For more information, check out this news release

British Columbia

New Fines and Enforcement Measures for COVID-19 Public Safety

On August 21, 2020, BC introduced new measures to enforce public safety with respect COVID-19 for gatherings and events. Police and other provincial enforcement officers can, when required:

  • Issue $2,000 tickets to owners or organizers who violate the provincial health officer's order on gatherings and events in any of the following ways:
    • Hosting a private party or public event in excess of 50 people.
    • Failing to provide appropriate hand sanitation and washroom facilities.
    • Failing to provide sufficient space in the venue for physical distancing.
    • Failing to obtain a list of names and contacts at large event. 
    • Having more than five guests gathered in a vacation accommodation.
  • Issue $200 violation tickets for individuals who actively encourage others to attend gatherings or events that do not comply with established requirements, or refuse to leave or disperse when directed to do so by enforcement officers.
  • Issue $200 violation tickets for individuals who refuse to comply with requests to follow the order or safe operating procedures of a restaurant, bar or other licensed establishment, or respond with abusive behaviour towards employees.

For more information, check out this news release and the following orders for reference:

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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