June 04, 2021

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues, 

Here’s what you’ll find inside today’s update:

  • Free Webinar: What does BC’s No-Fault Auto Regime mean for liquor liability?
  • Join ABLE BC at our Monthly Q&A: June 24
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Workplace Policy: can employers require that employees take the COVID-19 vaccine?
  • New go2HR Toolkit for Employers: COVID-19 Vaccinations in the Workplace
  • Reminder: minimum wage increased on June 1
  • COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Reimbursement
  • Survey for Liquor Manufacturers: Patios on Private Property
  • Resource Guide for Small Business Resiliency
  • New provincial support for legions
  • Reminder: Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant Deadline Tomorrow
  • Miscellaneous Group Meetings Added to Gatherings and Events PHO
  • Federal Government Update: New Canada Recovery Hiring Program and Extension of Business Support Programs

Find all past updates from ABLE BC here.

As always, if you have any additional questions or need to reach us you can email: jeff@ablebc.ca or danielle@ablebc.ca.

Free Webinar: What does BC’s No-Fault Auto Regime mean for liquor liability?

We invite you to join us for a free webinar on Wednesday, June 16 at 10:00 am PT: What does BC’s No-Fault Auto Regime mean for liquor liability?

BC’s new no-fault auto regime creates a “disincentive” for a patron to sue you. Does that mean insurance should be cheaper and easier to get? Join Lorne Folick (Dolden Wallace Folick LLP) to discuss the impact of of the no-fault auto regime on your liquor business.

Register for the webinarIf you cannot attend live, a recording will be sent out to everyone registered.

To learn more about the application of BC’s no-fault auto regime to commercial liquor licensees, download this article by Lorne Folick and Ouran Li.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact Danielle Leroux (Director of Membership and Communications): danielle@ablebc.ca.

Join ABLE BC at our Monthly Q&A: June 24

ABLE BC members and industry colleagues are invited to join us at our next monthly Q&A with Executive Director Jeff Guignard: Thursday, June 24 at 10:00 am PT. 

RSVP here. A Zoom link will be provided once you RSVP.

What to expect during this one-hour meeting: 

  • Catch up on anything you’ve missed over the last month
  • Hear directly from our Executive Director about the state of BC’s liquor industry
  • Get an update on our advocacy work and progress
  • Ask questions about liquor policy, regulations, public health orders, and government relations
  • We’ll also be joined by members of ABLE BC’s Board of Directors 

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact Danielle Leroux (Director of Membership and Communications): danielle@ablebc.ca.

COVID-19 Vaccination Workplace Policy

Can employers require that employees take the COVID-19 vaccine?

With almost 60 per cent of eligible British Columbians having had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, we know employers are wondering whether they can mandate that their employees take the vaccine.

ABLE BC Associate Member and Lawyer Ryan Anderson and his firm (Mathews, Dinsdale & Clarke LLP) offer some guidance: read it here.

New go2HR Toolkit for Employers: COVID-19 Vaccinations in the Workplace 

The vaccine rollout has also been creating some anxiety for employers, as they try to understand the impact of the rollout on their workplaces. Do employers need to have a vaccine policy in place? Can employers demand proof of vaccination from their employees? How can employers balance health and safety concerns with human rights or privacy ones? What do employers need to consider if they want to implement a vaccine policy? 

go2HR’s new toolkit COVID-19 Vaccinations in the Workplace – Toolkit for Tourism & Hospitality Employers contains practical information, resources and downloadable tools to help tourism and hospitality employers answer and address some of these difficult questions. 

Should you have any questions about vaccinations or need additional HR support, please feel free to contact go2HR: HR@go2hr.ca visit their COVID-19 Vaccinations In The Workplace webpage.

Reminder: minimum wage increased on June 1

On June 1, 2021, BC’s general minimum wage increased to $15.20 an hour from $14.60 an hour. The liquor server minimum wage of $13.95 an hour was eliminated and replaced with the general minimum wage of $15.20 an hour.

June 2021 marks the government’s goal of reaching $15.20 an hour through regular, measured, and predictable increases, which was recommended by the Fair Wages Commission in 2018.

ABLE BC knows this is the wrong time to be raising costs for businesses and we have communicated this to government. While ABLE BC and our industry partners have done everything we could to stop the replacement of the liquor server minimum wage, the Minster of Labour does not want to change course.

Future increases to the minimum wage, starting in 2022, will be based on the rate of inflation to provide predictability going forward.

COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Reimbursement

Employers need to sign up for online services to apply for COVID-19 sick-leave reimbursement.

The application for employers to apply for the BC government’s COVID-19 Paid Sick-Leave Reimbursement Program will be available on WorkSafeBC’s online services portal on June 15, 2021.

Through the program, employers who do not have an existing paid sick-leave program in place can apply to be reimbursed for up to three days of wages paid to workers for COVID-19 related sick leave. The reimbursement program is available for sick leave taken from May 20 until the program ends on Dec. 31, 2021. To apply, employers must be registered for WorkSafeBC insurance coverage and signed up for our employer online services. 

Learn more about how to apply.

What is COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave?

Effective May 20, 2021, workers can take up to three days of paid sick leave for circumstances related to COVID-19.

This means that if a person is sick with COVID-19, needs to self-isolate because of a public health order, or has symptoms and is waiting for a test result, they will be immediately supported to stay home from work without any gap in their paycheque, for up to three days.

Employers will be reimbursed for up to $200 per day for each worker who is eligible for paid sick leave. WorkSafeBC is now setting up the reimbursement program to administer on behalf of the Province. Once launched, employers can apply for reimbursement for wages paid for COVID-19 sick leave from May 20 until December 31, 2021.

On May 21, Minister of Labour Harry Bains also confirmed that government will be working over the next several months to develop a permanent paid sick leave program – for any illness or injury. The permanent model will be effective on January 1, 2022.

Survey for Liquor Manufacturers: Patios on Private Property

The City of Vancouver is reviewing opportunities for liquor manufacturers to have patios on private property on an ongoing basis. They are looking for feedback on manufacturers’ current experiences and what you might like to see in the future (if this program continues on an ongoing basis). 

This input will help the City shape future regulations that may accommodate patios on an ongoing basis as they continue to advance this work in response to COVID-19 and beyond. This survey will take about 5 minutes to complete and is open until June 14, 2021.

Complete the survey.

Resource Guide for Small Business Resiliency

Download the BC Chamber of Commerce’s new pan-provincial Resource Guide for Small Business Resiliency – a live resource to support businesses across the province in their navigation and recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic and BC’s Restart Plan.

Resources outlined in the guide tackle all aspects of pandemic recovery including: 

  • Health & safety
  • Government programming
  • Sector-specific initiatives
  • Legal and regulatory requirements
  • How to reopen, maintain, pivot, or expand your business
  • Additional small business tools

Download the resource guide today to help your business navigate the broad mix of available resources in a clear and efficient way. Follow these steps on the road to recovery.

New provincial support for legions

The Province is providing new relief funding to ensure legions can continue providing essential community services to its 47,000 members in BC, including veterans and their families.

The Royal Canadian Legion BC/Yukon Command will receive $1.5 million in one-time support to help offset the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic and recent circuit-breaker restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The $1.5 million mirrors the average grant provided to businesses under the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant and aligns with support provided by the federal government.

Reminder: Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant Deadline Tomorrow

Applications for the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant close tomorrow: June 4, 2021.

Grants of $2,000 to $20,000 are available to hospitality, fitness and accommodation businesses impacted by the March 31, 2021 Public Health Officer orders on gatherings and events and liquor and food serving premises, and the April 23, 2021 EPA order on travel.

Learn more and apply here.

Miscellaneous Group Meetings Added to Gatherings and Events PHO

As of May 28, the public health order on Gatherings and Events was updated to include miscellaneous group meetings.

Currently, operators are able to accommodate seated indoor business meetings of up to 10 people. Based on BC’s Restart Plan, it is expected that will be increased to up to 50 people on June 15.

Operators must have a safety plan in place and abide by COVID-19 safety protocols and procedures.

For more information, please read the public order.

Federal Government Update: New Canada Recovery Hiring Program and Extension of Business Support Programs

Yesterday, the federal government provided new details about the Canada Recovery Hiring Program and announced an extension of the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) to December 31, 2021.

This announcement comes as government shifts to reopen Canada’s economy and seeks to provide continued support for hard-hit businesses. With the extension of HASCAP, originally set to expire on June 30, 2021, the Ministers reiterated that this will ensure that businesses like hotels have the liquidity support they need to invest in their recovery.

The Hiring Program, announced in Budget 2021, is intended to help businesses that continue to experience a decline in revenue by covering some of the increased costs of hiring as they reopen and ramp up for the summer. The program will provide a subsidy of up to 50 per cent of eligible salary or wages and it will be available retroactively to June 6, 2021. More information on how the program will work, including eligibility, is available here.

Key details include:

  • The Hiring Program will be available for active employees from June 6, 2021, to November 20, 2021. The legislation for the program has not passed into law yet, however, the program would provide the supports retroactively upon becoming law. 
  • To qualify, an employer must demonstrate a decline in revenues that would be sufficient to qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
  • Businesses would be able to access the program through the Canada Revenue Agency, as they did with CEWS.
  • The Program is designed to interact with the Wage Subsidy. The programs overlap so that, as Wage Subsidy rates gradually decline, eligible employers would still be able to receive the maximum support from the Hiring Program this summer if they hire more workers or increase workers’ hours or wages.


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