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Bulletin | Covid-19

Daily Workplace Wrap-up on COVID-19 for July 1 and 2, 2020

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

Below are the key government announcements made on July 1 and 2, 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 proposed amendments to the Income Tax Regulations related to employers who sponsor a Registered Pension Plan ("RPP") or salary deferral leave plan for their employees. According to the government press release, the draft regulations provide temporary relief from various registration rules and other conditions that must be complied with under the Income Tax Regulations by:

  • adding temporary stop-the-clock rules to the conditions applicable to salary deferral leave plans for the period of March 15, 2020 to April 30, 2021;
  • removing restrictions that prohibit an RPP from borrowing money;
  • extending the deadline for decisions to retroactively credit pensionable service under a defined benefit plan or to make catch-up contributions to money purchase accounts;
  • permitting catch-up contributions to RPPs to be made in 2021 to the extent that 2020 required contributions had been reduced;
  • setting aside the 36-month employment condition in the definition "eligible period of reduced pay" for the purpose of using prescribed compensation to determine benefit or contribution levels; and
  • allowing wage rollback periods in 2020 to qualify as an eligible period of reduced pay for prescribed compensation purposes.

More information on the proposed amendments is available here.

Earlier this week, the government extended the border closure for international travel (other than the United States) until July 31, 2020.

Alberta

On July 2, 2020, the Chief Medical Office issued a notice (PDF) on exemptions to CMOH Order 05-2020 (PDF) for certain employees, contractors and subcontractors involved in the petroleum, natural gas and coal industries, which included the following:

  • workers who have been designated as essential to the operations of their company and must travel to or from Canada to provide essential services that support critical infrastructure that is necessary to the operations of their company's interests in Alberta or outside of Canada are exempt from the quarantine provisions in CMOH Order 05-2020 (PDF) (the "Exempted Persons");
  • Exempted Persons may be permitted to leave their quarantine premises where the persons' services are needed to maintain critical infrastructure in Alberta by the company to whom they provide services;
  • if providing services within Alberta during the period when the persons should have been in quarantine, the Exempted Persons must follow appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines including wearing a mask at all times when outside of their accommodation; and
  • Exempted Persons are still subject to any other applicable directions or other provisions that apply to "essential service workers"

British Columbia

There were no major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on July 2, 2020.

Manitoba

There were no major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on July 2, 2020.

New Brunswick

The government confirmed that the Atlantic province travel bubble including New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador will go into effect on July 3, 2020. Atlantic Canadians will be able to travel into the other Atlantic provinces without being required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, provided they:

  • have not travelled outside of the Atlantic provinces for any reason, including work or personal travel, in the past 14 days (however, New Brunswickers returning from work in another Canadian province or territory are not required to self-isolate when they return to New Brunswick);
  • have not been advised to self-isolate;
  • are not awaiting results of a COVID-19 test;
  • are not a child experiencing the symptom of purple markings on the fingers or toes;
  • are not experiencing at least two of the following symptoms:
    • fever above 38°C or signs of fever (such as chills);
    • a new cough or worsening chronic cough;
    • sore throat;
    • runny nose;
    • headache;
    • a new onset of fatigue;
    • a new onset of muscle pain;
    • diarrhea; and
    • loss of sense of taste or loss of sense of smell.

The government also announced that all licences, registrations, certificates and permits issued by the government that were valid as of March 16, 2020 will remain valid until July 31, 2020 unless suspended by a court or by another authority under provincial legislation.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Chief Medical Officer of Health extended (PDF) the provincial public health emergency for a period of 14 days effective July 1, 2020.

Newfoundland and Labrador join New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in an Atlantic Canada travel bubble on July 3, 2020.

Nova Scotia

The government announced it would extend the deadline for eligible businesses to apply for the Small Business Reopening and Support Grant to July 17, 2020. The program provides grants of up to $5,000 for eligible small businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises to resume operations, and vouchers of up to $1,500 that can be used for business advice and support.

Further, beginning July 3, 2020, travel within Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador is permitted without the requirement to self-isolate for Atlantic Canadian residents.

Atlantic Canadians arriving in Nova Scotia will need to provide government-issued identification (like a driver's licence or health card) or a utility bill or bank statement that shows their permanent home address. A self-declaration form isn't required to enter Nova Scotia. People from outside Atlantic Canada must continue self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive in Nova Scotia. If they have already self-isolated in another Atlantic Canadian province, they may enter Nova Scotia without self-isolating again.

Ontario

There were no major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on July 2, 2020.

Prince Edward Island

The government published its Welcome Back to School plan in support of the return to school in September 2020.  

Starting at 12:01 a.m. on July 3, 2020, the province joins Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador in the Atlantic travel bubble.

Quebec

There were no major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on July 2, 2020.

Saskatchewan

There were no major government updates as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on July 2, 2020.

Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Yukon

As of July 1, 2020, the Yukon moved to Phase 2 of its Territorial reopening plan.

There were no major government updates in the Northwest Territories or Nunavut as of 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on July 2, 2020.

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