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COVID-19 Updates | Weekly Workplace Recap from October 1 to October 8, 2020

COVID-19 Resources for Small Business

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Below are the key announcements from the FederalOntario, and Manitoba governments that touch on workplace issues from October 1 to October 8, 2020.


Applications Open for CRCB & CRSB Benefits

The COVID-19 Response Measures Act (formerly Bill C-4) has introduced three new temporary recovery benefits for Canadian who are unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19:

  • The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) provides $500 per week, for up to 26 weeks per household to Canadians who are off work for at least 50% of the week in order to care for:
    • A child or family member who is ill, quarantined or at high risk of developing serious illness because of COVID-19

    • A child or family member affected by the closure of schools, day cares centres or care facilities because of COVID-19.

  • The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) provides $500 per week, for up to 2 weeks for workers who are off work for at least 50% of the week because they:
    • Contracted COVID-19
    • Quarantined for reasons related to COVID-19
    • Have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments for, or have contracted other illnesses that would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.
  • The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) will pay eligible workers $500 per week for up to 26 weeks if they have stopped working and are not eligible for EI, or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. 

The CRA began accepting applications for the CRCB and CRSB effective October 5, 2020, and will open applications for the Canada Recovery Benefit on October 12, 2020.

For more information, check out this article and backgrounder on Bill C-4. 


Ontario Requires use of Face Coverings in Workplaces

Effective October 3, 2020, additional COVID-19-related requirements are required for Ontario businesses and other organizations.

Regulation 364/20 has been amended to now require businesses and other organizations to ensure that any person - including but not limited to employees - wears a mask or face covering whenever the person is in an indoor area or in a vehicle that is operating as part of the business or organization.

The Regulation sets out a number of specific exceptions to the mask requirement. Most notably for employers, individuals are not required to wear a mask if they:

  • Have a medical condition that inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering.
  • Are unable to put on or remove their mask or face covering without the assistance of another person.
  • Are being accommodated under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
  • Are being reasonably accommodated under the Human Rights Code.
  • Perform work for the business or organization, are in an area that is not accessible to members of the public, and are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person while in the indoor area.

The amended Regulation expressly states that a person is not required to provide evidence to demonstrate that they fall within one of the exceptions.

For more information, check out this article

$60 Million in Funding through PPE Grant for Small Main Street Businesses

The Ontario government has proposed new legislation, the Main Street Recovery Act, 2020 that intends to support small businesses and modernize rules to allow them to innovate and meet the challenges of the pandemic. If passed, the act will allow small businesses to pursue new opportunities while maintaining or enhancing protections for public health, safety and the environment.

The plan includes:

  • A one-time grant of up to $1,000 for eligible main street small businesses — in retail, food and accommodations, and other service sectors — with two to nine employees to help offset the unexpected costs of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Ontario's Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Network, which links 47 Small Business Enterprise Centres across the province as places where small businesses can access tailored advice and information on local, provincial and federal programs.
  • Digital Main Street Squads to help small businesses grow online.
  • Mental health supports for families, frontline workers, young people, children, and Indigenous communities.
  • Ontario's Small Business Recovery Webpage to provide single window access to small business supports.

Visit the new Small Business Recovery webpage for up-to-date information, programs and resources.

For more information, check out this news release. 


Manitoba Protection Plan - Resources for Employers

Helpful resources for employers can be found at the WorkSafe Saskatchewan website. Resources include but are not limited to:

  • Routine Precautions
  • Rights of Employers
  • Rights to Refuse Dangerous Work
  • Workplace Guidance for Business Owners
  • Additional Workplace Resources
  • Definitions of Vital Services, Critical Infrastructure and Exemption Criteria for Self-Isolation for Out-of-Province Workers

Explore the Manitoba Protection Plan for Workplaces. 

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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