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COVID-19 Updates | Weekly Workplace Recap from October 9 to October 15, 2020

COVID-19 Resources for Small Business

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Below are the key announcements from the FederalOntarioManitoba and BC governments that touch on workplace issues from October 9 to October 15, 2020.


Online Tool Helps Workplaces Build Customized COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has launched a new customizable tool kit to help businesses across Canada operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anchored by the COVID-19: Workplace Health and Safety Guide, the online hub provides one-stop access to more than 40 free resources to reduce the spread and protect everyone in the workplace. Topics covered within the guide include but are not limited to:

  • How the coronavirus spreads
  • Handling work refusals
  • Employers’ duties
  • Hazard and risk assessment for COVID-19
  • How to control the risk and apply the hierarchy of controls in the workplace.

Businesses can download the guide on its own or bundle other industry and workplace-specific tip sheets, infographics, and posters to create a customized and comprehensive COVID-19 tool kit tailored to their industry or specific workplace needs.

Build your COVID-19 Tool Kit.

Applications Open for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The application process for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) is open as of October 12, 2020. 

The CRB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks, to workers who have stopped working or had their employment/self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19 and who are not eligible for EI.

For information about CRB, including eligibility requirements, how to apply, and eligibility period dates, check out the CRA’s webpage

New Targeted Supports Planned to Help Hard-Hit Businesses

The federal government intends to introduce legislation to implement the following targeted supports for Canadian businesses:

  • The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy would provide rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19.

    • Organizations would be able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020.

    • Rent-relief plan allows small-businesses to apply directly for funds.

  • A top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25% for organizations temporarily mandated to shut down.

  • The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until June 2021.

  • An expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which would enable businesses and not-for-profits eligible for a CEBA loan that continue to be seriously impacted by the pandemic to access an interest-free loan of up to C$20,000, in addition to the original CEBA loan of C$40,000.

For more information, check out this news release


$300 Million to Support Local Restaurants & Food Services

The Ontario government is investing $300 million to provide relief for local restaurants and other businesses impacted by the new public health measures. This financial support will help offset fixed costs, including property taxes, hydro and natural gas bills.

Ontario is also supporting small business through its Main Street Recovery Plan by:

  • Committing to permanently allow licensed restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order before the existing regulation expires;
  • Permanently allowing 24/7 deliveries to restaurants;
  • Supporting the distribution of local food and food products by increasing the range of products sold at the Ontario Food Terminal;
  • Ending outdated and duplicative rules so businesses can focus on their work;
  • Providing $57 million with federal partners through the Digital Main Street program and creating new Digital Main Street squads to help small businesses grow online; and
  • Launching a new portal to assist small businesses to quickly find the supports and information they need.

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

For more information, check out this news release. 


Online Training Prepares Manitobans for Safe Return to Work

SAFE Work Manitoba is promoting a free, interactive online course to help provide employers with the resources they need to recover safely from the pandemic. 

The COVID-19: Best Practices for a Safe Workplace course, which complies with provincial health guidelines, provides instructions to help prepare everyone at the workplace on how to reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, keeping themselves, their co-workers and their customers safe.

Take the course. 

British Columbia

State of Emergency Extended until October 27

The state of emergency has been extended through the end of the day on October 27, 2020. The extension will allow the BC government to continue to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe and manage immediate concerns, such as recent outbreaks in some areas of the province.

For more information, check out this news release

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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