COVID-19 PANDEMIC RESOURCES
March 27. 2020
UPDATE: Federal Government Boosts Wage Subsidy to 75% for Small, Medium Businesses to Avoid Layoffs During COVID-19 Crisis
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced more help for small and medium-sized businesses to keep employees on the payroll during the COVID-19 crisis, including a 75 per cent wage subsidy and guaranteed interest-free loans.
During a news conference outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Trudeau called small and medium-sized businesses the "backbone" of the economy and said the new measures will help them avoid ordering layoffs or closing down because of the climate of uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
"We're thinking about that family-owned restaurant that's been around for years, [has] had many of the same employees for years. Employees who've been there through slowdowns, good times and bad times, and now in this moment of crisis they're having to lay these people off at their time of need," he said.
"We know that allowing people to continue that relationship, allow[ing] people to continue to feel and to know they have a job ... is a really important thing, not just for people's confidence, but for the ability of all us to bounce back strongly from this once we're through it."
The prime minister said the wage subsidies will be backdated to March 15, 2020.
March 26, 2020
UPDATE: Federal Government Economic Response Plan
On March 25, 2020, the Federal Government announced an update to their previous Economic Response Plan. Full details of the plan can be found here.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
To support workers and help businesses keep their employees, the government has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB would be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit. Once approved, this legislation will provide eligible Canadians with their first CERB payments within 10 days of their application. The CERB would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.
Who is eligible?
The CERB would cover Canadians (including wage earners, contract workers, and self-employed individuals) who:
NOTE: This also applies to individuals who would otherwise be eligible for EI benefits and who have NOT currently applied.
What if I have already applied for EI?
List of Essential Workplaces
The Government of Ontario has provided a list of Essential Workplaces that are allowed to remain open during the COVID-19 Pandemic.Businesses include any for-profit, non-profit or other entity providing the goods and services listed here. This does not preclude the provision of work and services by entities not on this list either online, by telephone or by mail/delivery. Note that teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses.
March 23, 2020
SUGGESTED SIGNAGE FOR MEMBERS
The Chief Medical Office of Health of Ontario has directed ALL Regulated Health Professionals, ALL non-essential and elective services should be ceased or reduced to minimal levels, subject to allowable exceptions, until further notice.
We want to assure patients who attend our office during this period that we are maintaining appropriate infection prevention and control procedures according to Public Health Ontario protocols. We are also strongly advising our staff to follow the directions of the Government of Ontario regarding how to minimize the spread of the virus. It must be understood, however, that these are unprecedented times and despite screening all of our patients before they attend the office, it is impossible to give any assurances that the persons who do attend have not been exposed to the virus which could potentially put others at risk.
Health professions/primary care providers are closely monitoring the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID 19). As Primary care providers, Podiatrists will continue to provide services during the current virus outbreak.
In addition to the advice/guidelines provided by both the Federal and Provincial health authorities (see links below), primary care providers, such as Podiatrists are instituting further measures in response to this new virus. These include:
Podiatrists and clinical offices, are asked to carry out passive and active screening.
Signs will be posted in reception areas asking patients with symptoms to identify themselves.
Mark Holman of Holman Insurance gave us this feedback:
Professional liability coverage should be maintained during this difficult period due to the nature of the “claim made” policy wording. Should one cancel their insurance they would not have any protection for their prior acts or disciplinary actions. We don’t forsee any Errors & Omissions claims arising from anything relating to COVID-19 as the Errors & Omissions policy provides protect for the professional services each member provides to the public. Most claims will be for Business Interruption coverage i.e. individuals/companies looking to recoupe any loss of revenue as a result of having to temporarily close their doors as well as having to lay staff off. Business Interruption coverage is part of a Commercial Business policy. Even having a Commercial Business policy in place and such policy including Business Interruption coverage, most Insurers will not be offering coverage for anything relating to COVID-19. In order for Business Interruption to be triggered there must be bodily injury or property damage to the building and/or its contents. Business interruption can't be triggered on its own – a slowdown in business, closure, quarantine, etc. are neither considered bodily injury or property damage. An extension in policy wording called "interruption by civil authority" does exist but refers to bodily injury or property damage to a neighbouring or adjacent property where a business is closed by order of civil authority for clean-up, investigation.
Unfortunately, the situation the world finds itself in right now as a result of the COVID-19 virus is NOT something that would be covered as the virus is not an insured peril and there has been no bodily injury or physical damage. For further information, we invite you to visit the Insurance Brokers of Canada website:
March 20, 2020 - Our members have many questions about how COVID-19 will impact their practices including staff and business continuation.
The Canadian Payroll Association has developed a comprehensive Q & A document related to payroll, layoffs, Records of Employment and EI Benefits. CLICK HERE to download the document.
We have done the research so you don't have to. Here are some helpful links which we will update on a regular basis:
FEDERAL ECONOMIC SUPPORT PLAN (announced March 18)
The federal government has announced the first phase of its economic support plan in response to COVID-19. $82 billion is being released to support Canadian individuals and businesses, including $27B in direct support and $55B to meet liquidity needs through tax deferrals.Below is an overview of the specific measures announced and a table summarizing the cost and implementation dates.
The backgrounder with additional details can be found here
SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS
To support Canadians businesses and help them retain their workers during this difficult time, the Government is announcing measures to:
The six largest financial institutions in Canada have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges, such as pay disruption due to COVID-19, childcare disruption due to school or daycare closures, or those suffering from COVID-19. As a first step, this support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. The Government of Canada will continue to monitor evolving economic conditions and seek greater relief measures should it be necessary.
SUPPORT FOR WORKERS
To support workers and their families, the Government of Canada is taking action to:
FEDERAL MONETARY AND FISCAL MEASURES (announced March 13)
A series of monetary and fiscal measures were announced by the Department of Finance, the Bank of Canada and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institution to help stabilize Canada’s economy: