When employers can require COVID-19 vaccinations (Dec. 16, 2020)
As COVID-19 vaccines become available, many employers will have a strong case for requiring employee vaccinations, so long as their vaccination policies have certain exceptions, are job-related and are consistent with business necessity, legal experts say. Read more
Dec 30th - Trucker priority for COVID-19 vaccine unclear (Dec. 16, 2020)
As federal officials near approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine, there are questions about where truck drivers will be on the priority list. Read more CAM is sending a letter to each provincial health unit explaining what household movers do and requesting that employees of moving companies, specifically drivers and crews who go into homes, can be considered in the second group of vaccinations as they are essential workers and at risk.
QUARANTINES & LOCK-DOWNS
Canadian Government encourages people to not vacation away
Jan 22, 2021 - Today the government implored Canadians to stay home and not travel out of the country for March break or winter vacations in order to stem the spread of the virus and particularly the new variants that are showing up in Canada. The Prime Minister stated that Canada may impose new measures without warning, which would "significantly impede" Canadians to be able to come home after a trip. He continued by saying that these measures will only be in place for a few more months.
*new* Here's the Ontario Government's summary of information about the measures proposed to come into effect in Ontario or in areas of Ontario between Tuesday, January 12, 2021 and Thursday, January 14, 2021. (For movers, go to slide 22)
Manitoba enacts 14-day quarantine entering the province
Jan 29, 2021 - Starting today, anyone travelling to Manitoba for nonessential reasons will have to self isolate for two weeks, as a new public health order comes into affect. If you are moving to Manitoba, you are considered to be travelling for essential purposes and therefore *should* be exempt. But please be reminded that the decision lies completely in the MB authorities’ hands and you *may* be required to self-isolate, thus affecting the delivery schedule of your goods. Movers, make sure you have this discussion with your Manitoba-bound customers and have a ‘Plan B” in place and what the financial ramifications of that might be. Reiterate the importance of having their moving documentation with them as they cross the border. Read more here.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford issues "Stay At Home Order" effective January 14th, 12:01 am until at least February 11th
Jan. 12, 2021 - MOVERS ARE STILL ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES AND WILL CONTINUE TO OPERATE AS THEY HAVE BEEN DOING SINCE MARCH!
More details to follow as become available as the rules for this stay-at-home order are still being written and not expected until late January 13th. Here are the highlights from the announcement today:
- any employee that can work from home is to work from home
- non-essential businesses must be closed by 8 pm nightly, with the exception of grocery and convenience stores, gas stations, pharmacies and restaurants providing take out/delivery.
- limit of 5 for outdoor gatherings
- masks are mandatory in all indoor public places and outdoors when they can't keep 2 meters apart
- rapid testing will be ramped up and available for warehouse and supply chain businesses should your workers need it
Québec Curfew beings Saturday, January 9, 2021
Province of Québec announced a full provincial curfew starting on Saturday, January 9, 2021. People must stay at home between 8 pm to 5 am or risk a fine between $1,000 - $6,000. There are exemptions for those who are working. Those transporting goods and those managing supply chains can continue to operate, so movers will still be able to operate. You will need to show a letter from your employer indicating that you need to be working.
For more information on what you can and can't be doing, click here. The curfew will be enforced until February 8, 2021.
Ontario Lockdown to begin December 26, 2020 12:01 a.m.
December 21, 2020 - Premier Doug Ford announced today that all of Ontario will go into lockdown as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday, December 26, 2020, for a period of 28 days in the south and east, and 14 days in the north. Essential businesses will remain in operation. Moving companies are still open for business.
Premier Ford also announced the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to help business owners to get through - more info available on that when we get it.
Other highlights: only essential services allowed to be in full operation. Curbside operations will be allowed for some retailers and coffee shops/restaurants. Elementary schools will remain closed until January 11th and High Schools will be remote until January 25th.
British movers still working
December 22, 2020 - On Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement that any human handled freight services were being shut down. France has closed its borders to all "manned" road freight from the UK with only unaccompanied freight permitted to travel, initially for a period of 48 hours (although that may well get extended over the holiday period). CAM clarified the situation with the British Association of Removers and the International Association of Movers reports today that BAR has received government confirmation that moving companies can continue their activities despite tighter restrictions in London and South East England. CAM will, of course, keep our eye on developments with this new viral mutation and report back here should the situation change.
Cross-border truck drivers don't need to wait 14 days for doctors visits
October 20, 2020 - trucknews.com is reporting that essential workers like truck drivers are not required to quarantine for 14 days after returning to Canada, even though the rule applies to other people entering the country. You can read more here.
Need summer labour? Canada Summer Jobs Program now open - employer deadline is January 29, 2021
There is a massive labour shortage in our country. Have you ever considered hiring a student? The government has expanded the Canada Summer Jobs program to get more folks working during COVID and you can get 75% of their wage reimbursed. Have a look …
Canada Summer Jobs is an initiative of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, which aims to provide flexible and holistic services to help all young Canadians develop the skills and gain paid work experience to successfully transition into the labour market.
The Canada Summer Jobs program objectives align with the redesigned Youth Employment and Skills Strategy and are as follows:
- provide quality work experiences for youth
- respond to national and local priorities to improve access to the labour market for youth who face unique barriers
- provide opportunities for youth to develop and improve their skills
The program provides wage subsidies to employers from not-for-profit organizations, the public sector, and private sector organizations with 50 or fewer full-time employees, to create quality summer work experiences for young people aged 15 to 30 years. Funded employers are not restricted to hiring students — all youth aged 15 to 30 years may be eligible participants.
Deadline to apply to be an employer is January 29, 2021. Full information is available here.
Employment Insurance (EI) program
As of September 27, you may be eligible for EI if you:
- were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks
- received the CERB, the 52 week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
- stopped working through no fault of your own
- have not quit your job voluntarily
- are ready, willing and capable of working each day (EI regular benefits)
- are temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else or yourself (EI maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver benefits)
If you are eligible for EI benefits, you will receive a minimum taxable benefit at a rate of $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits.
*update* Info on CERB to EI transition
The Government will be transitioning CERB to a simplified Employment Insurance (EI) program, effective September 27, 2020, to provide income support to those who remain unable to work and are eligible, and introducing a new suite of temporary and taxable recovery benefits to further support workers. While the Government prepares for this transition, and to ensure support continues for Canadians whose employment has been impacted by the pandemic, the CERB will be extended by an additional four weeks, providing a new maximum of up to 28 weeks of benefits. For more details click here.
Ontario Small Business Support Grant (Dec. 22, 2020)
For those of you in Ontario who may qualify, here is more information on the Ontario Small Business Support Grant announcement yesterday by Premier Doug Ford.
Eligible small businesses include those that:
- Are required to close or significantly restrict services due to the Provincewide Shutdown being imposed across the province effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26
- Have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level
- Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
For more information: Click here.
Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
The CRB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance. Please note that applications will open on October 12.
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
The CRSB provides $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who:
- are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19
- are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19
- have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.
CEBA has been extended to December 31, 2020
September 24, 2020 - The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. This program has been implemented by banks and credit unions in collaboration with Export Development Canada.
Business owners can apply for support from CEBA through their banks and credit unions. Learn more about CEBA
This support is available until December 31, 2020.
CEBA requirements and deadlines have changed (Dec. 4, 2020)
- As of December 4, 2020, CEBA loans for eligible businesses will increase from $40,000 to $60,000.
- Applicants who have received the $40,000 CEBA loan may apply for the $20,000 expansion, which provides eligible businesses with an additional $20,000 in financing.
- All applicants have until March 31, 2021, to apply for $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion.
If you have already applied for CEBA and have questions, please contact the CEBA Call Centre at 1-888-324-4201. An agent will return your call within 3 business days between Monday and Friday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm EST. For more info click here.
Important Federal Funding Updates (Nov. 20, 2020)
On Nov 20th, Bill C-9, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy) received Royal Assent, implementing new, targeted support to help hard-hit businesses. These measures will help businesses get through the second wave of the virus so they can protect jobs, continue to serve their communities, and be positioned for a strong recovery.
The measures adopted as part of Bill C-9 are:
- The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which will provide direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage interest support to tenants and property owners until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. The new rent subsidy will support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop by providing support up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. Claims can be made retroactively to September 27, 2020.
- The new Lockdown Support, which will provide an additional 25 per cent through the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy for qualifying organizations that are subject to a lockdown and must shut their doors or significantly restrict their activities under a public health order issued under the laws of Canada, a province or territory (including orders made by a municipality or regional health authority under one of those laws). Combined, this will mean that hard-hit businesses subject to a lockdown could receive rent support of up to 90 per cent.
- The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until June 2021, which will continue to protect jobs by helping employers keep employees on the payroll and re-hire workers. The wage subsidy will remain at the current rate of up to 65 per cent of eligible wages until December 19, 2020.