March 28, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues, 

At the start of this crisis, we promised to be here for you. That you’d hear from us every day as we strive to make sense of the sometimes hourly updates and announcements. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we remain committed to getting you the answers and support you need to make critical decisions for your business and employees. 

But like a lot of you no doubt, we’ve been working seven days a week during this emergency. So unless something urgent arises tomorrow, we’ll be taking this Sunday off. You’ll hear from us next on Monday when we’ll likely have new details of the federal government’s 75 per cent wage subsidy program. 

In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to send your questions by email to either: jeff@ablebc.ca or danielle@ablebc.ca.   

Best wishes for a safe and healthy weekend.

Included in today’s email:

  • Recap of updates from week of March 23, 2020
  • Update on COVID-19 crisis in BC
  • Help your employees prepare to apply for federal funding
  • COVID-19 Food and Beverage Sector Fact Sheet
  • go2HR Job Board: new jobs from other sectors

Please continue to send your questions by email to ABLE BC: 
jeff@ablebc.ca or danielle@ablebc.ca

Find all past updates from ABLE BC here.

Recap of updates from week of March 23, 2020

Because Monday seems like a very long time ago, here’s what you may have missed this week from ABLE BC:

  • Update on March 23: $5 billion provincial COVID-19 action plan, revised timeline for Serving it Right requirements when delivering liquor with take-away and delivery food, accepting cash at your establishment, posting healthcare jobs on the go2HR job board
  • Update from McMillan LLP: Essential Services
  • Update on March 24: Ontario and Quebec order closure of all non-essential businesses, LCRB cancel all SEP, changes to Employment Standards Act, new signage for your business
  • Update on March 25: House of Commons passes modified Bill C-13, BC Government support for renters and landlords, LDB not accepting returns and intermittent product delays, BC Liquor Stores close on Sunday, grocery stores need temporary staff
  • Urgent Update on March 26: Liquor industry defined as Essential Service
  • Update on March 26: confusion over Provincial Health Officer Order on March 20, public health orders are mandatory, clarification on selling draft beer, BDL cyber attack, ABLE BC policy work update, what to do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19, Plexiglas barriers for liquor stores
  • Urgent Update on March 27: Government boosts wage subsidy to 75%
  • Update on March 27: LDB update, province defines LDB as essential service, BDL update, WorkSafeBC defers Q1 2020 Payment, LCRB policy directive on packaged and sale of draught beer, complying with emergency act and public health orders

Update on COVID-19 crisis in BC

This morning, health officials in British Columbia are reporting 92 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, including one new death, bringing the provincial total to 884 cases. 

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said of those cases, 81 are in hospital including 52 in intensive care. Henry said 45 per cent of those who have contracted the coronavirus – 396 people – have recovered. The percentage rate of growth has also decreased.

Dr. Henry emphasized: “We are at that very critical point right now. We must be united in this and 100 per cent committed until we flatten this curve for good.”

On Friday, Dr. Henry said provincial modelling that shows how physical distancing measures may have helped slow the spread of the disease in B.C.But on Saturday she warned that a severe outbreak is still possible if people don’t continue to follow advice from health officials. 

On the federal level, this morning the Prime Minister announced that Transport Canada has introduced new rules for domestic travel in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.

As of Monday at noon, people showing any signs whatsoever of COVID-19 will be denied boarding on all domestic flights and inter-city passenger trains. The Prime Minister said government is giving “further tools” to airlines and rail companies to ensure that anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms does not travel and that it will be up to the companies to ensure the new rules are followed.

Help your employees prepare to apply for federal funding

Earlier this week, the federal government announced changes to funding available for employees. 

Originally, government proposed two benefits for workers:

  1. Emergency Care Benefit: up to $900 biweekly, up to 15 weeks, income support for workers, including the self-employed who don’t qualify for paid sick leave or EI
  2. Emergency Support Benefit: up to $5 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment

Government has modified Bill C-13 and repackaged these two benefits – a change that will almost double direct financial aid in the government’s economic plan (because the new benefit is being funded from general revenues, and not the EI fund covered by employee and employer premiums.) 

The federal government will now provide a $2,000 per month payment for up to 4 months to workers whose income drops to zero because of COVID-19, including if they have furloughed by their employees but technically still have jobs. 

Affected workers will have to fill out an online application and meet a few conditions to apply. It will apply to any affected workers between March 15 and October 3. 

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.

During this morning’s address, the Prime Minister strongly recommended that anyone who plans to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit sign-up for ‘My Account’ now on the Canada Revenue Agency website. He also suggested that people setup direct deposit in their account.

COVID-19 Food and Beverage Sector Fact Sheet

In an effort to clear up confusion on Provincial Health Officer Orders, the Ministry of Health has created a COVID-19 Food and Beverage Sector Fact Sheet

We recommend you download and read the fact sheet here.

go2HR Job Board: new jobs from other sectors

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the tourism and hospitality industry has been faced with difficult decisions to reduce hours, lay off employees, or even shut down the operation completely. 

go2HR understands that many of your employees are out of work or their hours have been reduced significantly. They have partnered with other sectors to bring new job opportunities to help ensure people’s livelihood are not disrupted. 

go2HR is inviting sectors such as retail, delivery service, agriculture and healthcare to use their job board. For example, the healthcare sector, including private care homes and senior residences, are looking for front desk, servers, kitchen staff and housekeepers. These opportunities will be a perfect temporary solution as our industry works hard to return to normal operation.

Keep checking back as more employers come on board and post jobs. And don’t forget, tourism is still hiring as our employers plan ahead for better days!

Visit the job board.

For more information:

Public Health Agency of Canada Website

Updates from the Government of British Columbia

Updates and Resources from ABLE BC

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact ABLE BC:
604-688-5560 or info@ablebc.ca.


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