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Bulletin | Covid-19

Daily Workplace Wrap-up on COVID-19 for May 22, 2020

Fasken
Reading Time 5 minute read
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Labour, Employment & Human Rights Bulletin

Below are the key government announcements made on May 22, 2020 that touch on workplace issues.

Our daily (weekday) and weekend overviews of previous government announcements, employment analyses and other COVID-19 information are available here.

The Federal Government

The government announced a new online tool, “Find financial help during COVID-19”, to help individuals and businesses determine which government benefits programs best meet their needs.

Alberta

The government has confirmed that Calgary and Brooks will be permitted to proceed with Stage 1 of the province’s re-launch plan in accordance with CMOH-Order 19-2020 (PDF). Effective May 25, 2020, the following businesses will be permitted to reopen:

  • hair salons and barbershops; and
  • cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars (at 50% capacity).

Starting May 25, 2020, non-urgent surgeries requiring a hospital stay will also be permitted to resume.

British Columbia

There were no major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. EDT on May 22, 2020.

Manitoba

The government increased the limit on indoor gatherings to 25 people and outdoor gatherings to 50 people. Professional sports teams may now attend facilities for training and practice provided that no members of the public are permitted to enter.

The government also announced that big-game utilization requirements are waived for 2020 and the Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association is now overseeing the Guide License Program.

New Brunswick

The government announced the following easing of restrictions effective May 22, 2020:

  • the two-household bubble can be extended to close friends and family. However, the government recommends that indoor gatherings be limited to 10 or fewer people;
  • non-regulated health professionals and businesses may open, including acupuncturists and naturopaths; and
  • personal services and businesses may open, including barbers, hairstylists, spas, estheticians, manicurists, pedicurists and tattoo artists.

The government announced that as of May 29, 2020, the following is permitted (with restrictions):

  • outdoor public gatherings of 50 people or fewer;
  • religious services, including wedding and funerals, of 50 people or fewer, whether indoors or outdoors;
  • increased elective surgeries and other non-emergency healthcare services;
  • low-contact team sports, subject to specific restrictions and limits;
  • the reopening of:
    • swimming pools, saunas and waterparks;
    • gyms, yoga and dance studios;
    • rinks and indoor recreational facilities; and
    • pool halls and bowling alleys; and
  • temporary foreign workers may enter New Brunswick.

Further details and guidance are provided in the government’s recovery plan, which may be accessed here.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Chief Medical Officer of Health announced that pet grooming services may resume on May 25, 2020. These businesses must:

  • implement cleaning and disinfecting protocols;
  • implement policies to ensure physical distancing;
  • screen for potential COVID-19 exposure; and
  • ensure staff wear appropriate personal protective equipment.

The Minister of Service announced that effective May 22, 2020, the following measures are in place:

  • collection of WorkplaceNL assessments from employers has been deferred to after August 31, 2020, with no interest or penalties;
  • clearance letters will continue to be provided during the payment deferral period to allow contractors that meet certain reporting criteria to continue to bid on work and operate;
  • the interest-free payment deadline for workplace injury insurance is extended to March 31, 2021 to allow employers more flexibility;
  • safety training certificates are extended to August 31, 2020 for confined space entry, fall protection, mine rescue, power line hazards, traffic control person, first aid and Occupational Health and Safety Committee members;
  • the elimination or offer of rebates on aquaculture licence fees, and deferral of annual Crown Lands fees for aquaculture sites;
  • the full rebate of base fish processor and buyer licensing fees to assist fish processing plants and fish buyers;
  • licences will not be cancelled for non-application for renewals until the public health restrictions have been lifted for real estate salespersons and agents; mortgage brokers; insurance companies; insurance adjusters, agents, representatives and brokers; and prepaid funeral services;
  • new licence applications will be processed for real estate salespersons and agents; mortgage brokers; insurance companies; and insurance adjusters, representatives, agents and brokers;
  • businesses are eligible to have a portion of vehicle registration fees for vehicles registered to the business refunded, if they are not in use;
  • commercial vehicles of 4,500 kilograms or greater are not required to have their safety inspection completed while they are not operational;
  • deferral of the requirement for businesses to file yearly returns under Companies and Deeds Online (CADO) and remittance of the accompanying filing fee; and
  • payment of water use charges for 2019 related to microbreweries and wineries and aquaculture due in the 2020-21 fiscal year have been waived. Payment of water use charges for all other industries will be deferred until March 31, 2021.

Nova Scotia

There were no major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. EDT on May 22, 2020.

Ontario

The government announced new assistance for:

  • laid off and unemployed hospitality workers through the creation of an online counselling and training portal called the Virtual Action Centre; and
  • apprentices by providing grants to apprentices to purchase tools, protective equipment and clothing for their trade, along with forgiving previous loans to purchase tools.

Prince Edward Island

Phase 2 of Renew PEI, Together plan commenced, resulting in the re-opening of certain businesses and services.

Quebec

The government announced:

  • museums, libraries’ circulation desks as well as drive-in movie facilities will be able to reopen under certain conditions on May 29, 2020. Guides for reopening have been developed by CNESST in partnership with sector stakeholders; and
  • recording studios and the filming of live shows without an audience will be permitted as of June 1, 2020, with restrictions. A distance of at least 2 metres between people on stage or in the studio must be maintained, and the maximum size of any technical team is limited to 5 individuals.

Saskatchewan

The government filed The Employment Standards (Public Emergencies) Amendment Regulations, 2020 (No.2) (PDF), amending provincial law with respect to temporary layoffs and the notice required for group terminations by:

  • establishing an open ended period an employer can temporarily lay off employees during a public emergency;
  • establishing a grace period of two weeks, should the public emergency end while the layoff is in effect, in which the employer can plan and transition employees to work; and
  • exempting employers from providing group termination notice to employees and any union during a public emergency, while maintaining the requirement to notify the Minister.

The government also filed The Saskatchewan Temporary Wage Supplement Program Regulations to provide increased pay to certain lower income essential workers who continue to provide services to vulnerable citizens in critical care settings.

Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Yukon

There were no major government updates in Nunavut, the Yukon or the Northwest Territories as of 5:00 p.m. EDT on May 22, 2020.

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