COVID-19 Updates | Weekly Workplace Recap from May 28 to June 3, 2021

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Below are the key announcements from the FederalOntario, ManitobaAlberta and BC governments that touch on workplace issues from May 28 to June 3, 2021.


Announces $595 Million New Canada Recovery Hiring Program

The federal government plans to spend $595 million to support employers’ hiring efforts. The proposed Canada Recovery Hiring Program would be available to eligible employers that have experienced qualifying revenue declines.

Here are some quick facts about the proposed Hiring Program:

  • It would provide a subsidy of up to 50% of eligible salary or wages.

  • As with the Wage Subsidy, eligible employers would receive support after each four week period of the program.

  • Support would be available retroactively once Bill C-30 receives Royal Assent.

  • Eligible employers would be able to access support through the CRA and the application portal would be available after Royal Assent.

  • The program is estimated to cost $595 million.

For more information, check out this news release and backgrounder

Extends Wage Subsidy (CEWS) & More Business Support Programs 

Bill C-30 also proposes to extend the Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Rent Subsidy, and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021. These programs are currently set to expire this month.

The Hiring Program and the Wage Subsidy overlap so that, as Wage Subsidy rates gradually decline, eligible employers would still be able to receive the maximum support from the Hiring Program this summer if they hire more workers or increase workers’ hours or wages.

It was also announced that the Business Credit Availability Program and Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program are being extended to December 31, 2021. Since both programs were set to expire on June 30, 2021, the extension will hopefully ensure that businesses will have the liquidity support they need to invest in their recovery.

For more information, check out this news release and backgrounder


Continues Restrictions Through Expiry of Stay-at-Home Order

While Ontario’s Stay-at-Home order expired on June 2, 2021, all other public health and workplace measures will remain in place province-wide until Ontario enters Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen.

Pursuant to O. Reg. 363/20 made under the Reopening Ontario Act, all regions of Ontario remain in the Shutdown Zone of Stage 1. Therefore, the restrictions under O. Reg. 82/20 remain in force. Restrictions include, but are not limited to:

  • Any businesses that are not listed in Schedule 2 or 3 of O.Reg 82/20 (ie. Essential Businesses), must remain closed. 

  • Any Businesses that remain open must comply with prescribed COVID-19 preventative measures, including ensuring masks are worn indoors, social distancing, installation of Plexiglass or other impermeable barriers, and ensuring workers are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment.

  • Any Businesses that remain open must ensure that any person who performs work for the business conducts their work remotely, unless the nature of their work requires them to be on-site at the workplace.

  • Any Businesses that remain open must limit the number of persons in the business or facility so that members of the public are able to maintain social distancing and any specified capacity restrictions.

In addition, all other workplace measures made under the Reopening Ontario Act remain in place.

For more information, check out this news release


Extends State of Emergency for a Period of 30 Days

The Manitoba government has extended the provincewide state of emergency to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The extension came into effect Saturday, May 29 at 4 p.m. and will remain for a period of 30 days.

For more information, check out this news release


Updates Business Restrictions & Workplace Guidance Documents

The Alberta government announced mandatory restrictions in effect province-wide to reduce COVID-19 case numbers. Changes include some business closures, in-person service restrictions and capacity limits. Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces and workplaces.

If your business is open, check out all general and sector-specific guidance.

British Columbia

Prepares Employers for COVID-19 Paid Sick-Leave Reimbursement Program

Effective May 20, 2021, employers are required to offer employees 3 days of paid sick leave if they need to stay home as a result of circumstances related to COVID-19. The COVID-19 Sick-Leave Reimbursement Program is available to employers who have employees covered under the ESA and who do not already have a paid sick leave benefits plan.

The reimbursement program will be available on WorkSafeBC’s online services portal on June 15, 2021. Through the program, eligible employers can apply to be reimbursed for up to 3 days of wages paid to workers for COVID-19 related sick leave. The reimbursement program is available for sick leave taken from May 20 until the program ends on Dec. 31, 2021.

To apply for reimbursement, employers must be:

  1. Registered for WorkSafeBC insurance coverage and
  2. Signed up for WorkSafeBC’s employer online services in order to access the COVID-19 Sick-Leave Reimbursement application. If you’re not already signed up, you can sign up now to ensure you receive reimbursement quickly.  

For more information, visit WorkSafeBC

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