As COVID-related restrictions begin to be lifted, employers are properly focused on ensuring that their workplaces and workforces are prepared for reopening. However, there is some suggestion that full or partial reclosings, followed by subsequent reopenings, may need to occur until a vaccine is developed, mass immunity exists, or sufficient treatment methods are implemented. As
Our last installment focused on preparing physical workplaces for reopening, having regard to public health and occupational health and safety requirements. At this point, employers following along are alive to critical legal considerations that are unique to physical workplaces. In this installment of The Canadian Employers’ Reopening Playbook we discuss complex legal and practical considerations to return workforces to “COVID-prepared” workplaces.…
Continue Reading The Canadian Employers’ Reopening Playbook (Part 3)
Planning the Return to Work Process
With the pandemic situation continuously evolving, it can be difficult to think about anything besides the immediate response. The early days of the pandemic required employers to act fast and make quick decisions to protect workers, safeguard client/customer relationships, and stabilize operations. But, as restrictions are gradually lifted, and we move beyond the immediate crisis phase, employers across Canada need to carefully plan how to reopen workplaces, resume operations, and get people back to work. A carefully planned and deliberate approach to reopening is required to protect workers in the short-term and remain resilient in the long-term.
This installment of The Canadian Employers’ Reopening Playbook will address key issues employers should consider when planning to reopen physical workspaces.…
Continue Reading The Canadian Employers’ Reopening Playbook (Part 2)
Why Have a Playbook?
As provincial governments move towards reopening their economies and taking steps to return to normal, employers must balance a range of important – and, at times, conflicting – considerations.
Some of the key questions may seem obvious:
- Are we allowed to reopen and if so, when, and with what restrictions?
- What steps are required to keep employees and all other individuals who come into or onto our premises safe?
- How do we get our employees back to work, and what if they don’t want to return at this time?
- How will reopening impact the availability of government support programs for us and our employees?
Over the coming days, through a series of client alerts, we will explore these questions and more, providing detailed and practical guidance that employers can draw upon and adapt for their specific workplaces. The Canadian Employers’ Reopening Playbook will break down common employment-related issues employers should consider when:
- Planning the return to work process;
- Implementing the return to work process; and
- Operating in a changed environment.
On May 15, 2020, the Government of Canada announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) will be extended for an additional 12-week period to August 29, 2020. At the same time, the government announced retroactive regulatory changes, and legislative proposals expected to come into force at a later date. These changes were introduced in an effort to promote employment and stimulate economic recovery as restrictions are gradually lifted across Canada.
Immediate Changes to CEWS Eligibility:
The government introduced a series of regulations extending eligibility for the CEWS to the following categories of employers:
- Partnerships with one or more non-eligible members will be eligible so long as non-eligible entity partners control a minority of the partnership’s interests at fair market value during the qualifying period;
- Indigenous government-owned corporations that are carrying on a business and are tax-exempt under paragraph 149(1)(d.5) of the Income Tax Act, their wholly-owned subsidiaries that are carrying on a business and are tax-exempt under paragraph 149(1)(d.6) of the Income Tax Act, as well as partnerships where the partners are members of Indigenous governments and eligible employers;
- Non-public education and training institutions, including for-profit and non-profit private colleges, schools, and institutions (i.e., arts schools, language schools, driving schools, flight schools and culinary schools);
- National-level Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Associations that are tax-exempt under paragraph 149(1)(g) of the Income Tax Act; and
- Registered Journalism Organizations that are tax-exempt under paragraph 149(1)(h) of the Income Tax Act.
We are pleased to share with you the BNN Bloomberg article, “Breaking down CERB guidelines.” Kevin Coon was interviewed for this Q&A regarding the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
Click here to view the article
This article was originally posted in BNN Bloomberg
We are happy to share with you the BNN Bloomberg article, “How employers can avoid backlash from COVID-19 layoffs.” Kevin Coon was interviewed for this article providing dos and don’ts for employers to follow.
Click here to view the article
This article was originally posted in BNN Bloomberg.
As Ontario prepares to reopen the economy, the province is providing employers with safety guidelines to protect workers, customers, and the general public from COVID-19. The guidelines provide practical recommendations so that employers reopen in a safe and responsible way.…
Continue Reading Ontario Releases Safety Guidelines for Reopening to Protect Public from COVID-19
On April 25, 2020, the Ontario government announced that it is providing frontline staff with a temporary pandemic payment. The payment compensates frontline workers for dedication, long hours, and increased risk while working to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
What does the payment include?
Eligible workers will receive an increase of four dollars per hour worked…
This is an update to our recent blog post summarizing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”). You can find the first part of our post, which summarizes the government’s original announcement, here.
On April 11, 2020, the federal government passed Bill C-14, amending the Income Tax Act to create the CEWS. The subsidy provides financial support to eligible employers for wages paid to eligible employees for the period from March 15, 2020 to June 6, 2020 (divided into three qualifying periods), subject to a possible extension up to September 30, 2020.
Q: How does the program work?
A: For each qualifying period, an eligible employer can claim, from the government, a capped wage subsidy for remuneration paid to each eligible employee.