COVID-19 FAQs for Tourism Employers

Updated May 26, 2020.

This page will be updated frequently, to provide information to help address common HR and health and safety inquiries related to COVID-19 that we are receiving.

Topics:

Q: What is the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers?

A: The BC Emergency Benefit for Workers provides a one-time $1,000 payment to people whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19.

Eligibility:

To be eligible, individuals must:

  • Have been a resident of BC on March 15, 2020
  • Have met and been approved for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), even if they haven’t received a federal benefit payment yet
  • Be at least 15 years old on the date of application
  • Have filed, or agree to file, a 2019 B.C. income tax return
  • Not be receiving provincial income assistance or disability assistance
  • Not be incarcerated in a provincial or federal correctional facility for a period of 90 days or longer that includes March 15, 2020

Individuals who are eligible for and receive at least one Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payment and then return to work, may still be eligible for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers, provided they are not required to repay the CERB benefit. Individuals must still meet all other eligibility criteria.

How it Works:

  • Payments will be provided within 10 days
  • Payments are only being made via direct deposit
  • Documentation isn’t required when for the application however, all applications will be verified and applicants may be asked to provide proof of eligibility at a later date
  • Individuals who receive a payment and are later determined to be ineligible for the benefit may be required to repay it with penalties and interest

APPLY:

  • Online
  • Telephone: Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm:
    • 1-855-955-3545 (within BC only) 1-778-309-4630 (outside B.C.)

More Information:


Q: What is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and where can I apply?

A: The Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides temporary income support to workers who have stopped working and are without employment or self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19.

  • Taxable benefit: $2,000 a month ($500 per week), for up to 16 weeks
  • Duration: Available retroactively from March 15, 2020 – October 3, 2020

This benefit will be available to:

  • workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support
  • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures
  • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid (e.g. laid off, unpaid leave) because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work
  • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance
  • seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19
  • workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19

Eligibility:

To qualify, individuals must:

  • Reside in Canada and be at least 15 years old.
  • Have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular or fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020.
  • Who had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and,
  • Who have not voluntarily quit their job.

More Information:

  • When submitting the first claim, individuals cannot have earned more than $1000 in employment or self-employment income for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period of your claim.
  • When submitting subsequent claims, individuals cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of your new claim.

Income while on CERB:

  • Individuals are permitted to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.

Apply:

Individuals can apply for the CERB benefit:

More information: 

Q: Do individuals need to reapply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), if they are already receiving it?

A: Yes. Individuals who are receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for the first four weeks AND who’s work situation has not changed, will need to reapply if they want to continue receiving payments.

How to Reapply:

Individuals can reapply for the benefit through the same methods used to apply:

For additional information: Apply for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) with CRA

Q: Can employers choose to top up the CERB?

A: While the CERB legislation does allow individuals to earn up to $1,000 during each claim period, it doesn’t specifically permit employers to top up the CERB.

Q: When an individual’s regular EI benefits have been exhausted, can they then apply for the CERB?

A: Yes. As long as the individual meets the eligibility requirements for the CERB which includes those who have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020.

Q:  Can B&B owners who collect a pension also apply for the CERB?

A:  It would depend on their situation and whether or not they meet the eligibility requirements of the CERB.

Pensions do not count towards the employment and/or self-employment income requirement of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application.


Q: What is the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and how can we apply?

A: The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) encourages employers to keep existing employees on payroll and if possible, working, as well as re-hire previously laid off employees so that they are better positioned to return to normal operations following the COVID-19 pandemic crisis

Reimbursement wage subsidy of 75% of wages (or 100% if there has been a 25% decrease in wages) up to $847/week

Eligibility Requirements

Employers:

  • Private sector organizations
  • Employers must be able to demonstrate a reduction in baseline revenue as a result of COVID-19, for each eligibility period:
    • Eligibility Period 1: March 15 – April 11
    • 15% reduction, March 2019 vs March 2020 OR Average of January and February 2020
    • Eligibility Period 2: April 12 – May 9
    • 30% reduction, April 2020
    • Eligibility Period 3: May 10 – June 6
    • 30% reduction, May 2020

Employees:

  • Employed in Canada
  • Not without remuneration for 14 or more days

How it Works:

  • Program Duration EXTENDED: March 15 – August 29, 2020
  • All applications must be received before October 2020
  • Employers must pay salaries or wages to employees and then submit an application for this reimbursement through this subsidy
  • Eligibility for the subsidy does not require businesses to pay the remaining 25% if they are unable to do so, however they are expected to make best efforts to do so and bring employees’ wages to their pre-crisis levels.
  • Employers are required to reapply for the subsidy for each of the three eligibility periods
  • Employers cannot claim the subsidy for a period of time during which an employee was laid off and in receipt of EI or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
  • For employers and employees participating in a Work-Sharing program, EI benefits received by employees within a Work-Sharing program will reduce the benefit that their employer is entitled to receive under the CEWS
  • CEWS can be combined with the 10% Temporary Payroll Subsidy

APPLY:

Employers can apply using:

More Information:

Q: Can the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) be combined with Work-Sharing?

A: Yes, however EI benefits received by employees within a Work-Sharing program will reduce the benefit that their employer is entitled to receive under the CEWS

Q: Can the 75% Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) be combined with the 10% Temporary Payroll Subsidy?

A: Yes

  • Eligible employers must use the 10% wage subsidy, before using the 75% CEWS
  • There is no application required for the 10% wage subsidy
  • The CEWS and the 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy are intended to provide employers with a total support of up to 75% for payroll

More Information:

Q: Can we recall employees from a layoff and then pay them with the CEWS, even if there is no work for them?

A: Yes. The legislation does not require employers to actually provide work to eligible employees in order to receive the CEWS. In order to qualify for the CEWS, employees must not be without remuneration for 14 or more consecutive days in the qualifying period.

HR Consideration:

This may be an option for employers who don’t want to risk losing valuable employees due to a layoff and/or for employers who want to entice employees who are in receipt of the CERB back to work – more so if the remaining 25% can be paid, bringing the employee’s wage back up to pre-crisis levels.

Q: If employers receive the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), are they required to top-up the remaining 25 per cent of the employee’s wage?

A: Eligibility for the subsidy does not require businesses to pay the remaining 25% if they are unable to do so. They are expected to make best efforts to do so and bring employees’ wages to their pre-crisis levels.

Q: Can employers lay off some employees and apply for the wage subsidy to keep or bring others back off from a layoff?

A:  Yes. The legislation does not require employers to actually provide work to eligible employees in order to receive the CEWS. Also, it remains up to each individual employer to determine their workforce needs, who they recall from layoffs and when.

HR Consideration: We encourage employers to determine and document their criteria for employee layoff recalls. Consider prioritizing critical roles and skills needed to reopen or restart the business. Be mindful of employment-related legislation such as Employment standards, Workers Compensation and Human rights when determining recalls so as to avoid potential liabilities.

Q: Can employers pay employees retroactively and then claim the wage subsidy?

A:  Yes. It is possible for an eligible employer to hire back eligible employees and pay them retroactively in respect of a claim period, to be able to qualify for the wage subsidy.

Employees who previously received the CERB for a claim period in which they are then hired back would no longer have been eligible for the CERB. This means that the employee would no longer be eligible for the CERB for that claim period and have to repay the CERB.

Q:  We run a seasonal lodge and are planning to recruit employees for the summer season. Can we apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and use it for our future summer staff?

A: As of May 15, the CEWS program has been extended to August 29, 2020

Depending on when the employee is hired, they may qualify for the CEWS program.

Employee eligibility for the CEWS:

  • is determined in respect of each week, in each claim period.
  • Requires that the employee has not been without remuneration from the eligible employer in respect of a period of 14 or more consecutive days in the claim period
  • A new employee who is not eligible in a preceding claim period (because, for example, the 14-day remuneration condition has not been met) may become eligible in a following claim period

Q:  Can part time employees qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage subsidy (CEWS)?

A:  Yes. The subsidy is available in respect of employees employed in Canada who have not been without remuneration for 14 or more consecutive days.

More Information: Frequently asked questions – Canada emergency wage subsidy (CEWS)

Q:  Can employers apply for the CEWS to pay contract employees?

A:  No, Contractors do not qualify for the Canada Employee Wage subsidy (CEWS) program as they are not considered to be an employee of the company.

Contractors can apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Providing they meet the eligibility criteria.

Q: Can employers apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) if the employees are receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)?

A:  In certain situations, an eligible employer may be qualified to claim the wage subsidy for an eligible employee who has received payments under the CERB program.

If an individual has not been paid any remuneration from the eligible employer in respect of a period of 14 or more consecutive days in a claim period, the individual will not qualify as an eligible employee for that period of employment. The employer would not be eligible for the CEWS in respect of that employee, for that claim period

If the employer has claimed the CEWS for an individual, they would no longer be eligible for the CERB. The onus is on the individual to determine their CERB entitlement.

More Information: Frequently asked questions – Canada emergency wage subsidy (CEWS)

Q:  Can overtime for hourly paid employees from the January-March reference period be used in the calculation of CEWS?

A:  Eligible pre-crisis or baseline remuneration pay includes salary, wages, and other remuneration (i.e. overtime pay, commission, taxable benefits)


Q: Have there been any changes to the Canada Summer Jobs Program, in response to COVID0-19?

A: Yes. Temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs Program for 2020 include:

  • Eligible employers who have already applied for the 2020 program will receive up to 100% reimbursement of the provincial minimum hourly wage for each employee
  • Employment period has been extended, May 11, 2020 – February 28, 2021
  • Employers will be able to adapt work activities and projects to support the delivery of critical services
  • Part-time positions (fewer than 30 hours per week) qualify for the program

Q: We missed the Canada Summer Jobs Program application deadline. Will the application process reopen so more businesses can apply?

A: There are no plans to reopen the application process however, we understand that Service Canada will be working with local MPs across the province to identify businesses that haven’t applied but could qualify and may be interested.

Interested businesses are encouraged to contact their local MPs directly and express interest in the program


Q: Our business is currently closed and we had planned to carry out our 2020 audit in the near future. What do we need to do?

A: WorkSafeBC is aware that many businesses are not currently operating at all or are not in their normal operating modes. As they provide information relating to the scheduling of COR audits for the remainder of 2020, we are communicating this to our COR certified employers, according to their particular situations and stages within the COR lifecycle.

If you are due to complete a maintenance audit in 2020 (whether Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), or both OHS and Return-to-Work (RTW) COR), you have until the end of the calendar year in which to do so. Choosing the most appropriate time to carry out your maintenance audit may depend on the latest public health guidance, as well as your level of business/operational activity.

If you are due to complete a re-certification audit in 2020 (whether Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), or both OHS and Return-to-Work (RTW) COR), you may apply for a ‘2020 audit waiver’ from go2HR’s Industry Health and Safety team. Please note that this waiver only applies to any COR certificates that are expiring up to August 31, 2020. Once approved, WorkSafeBC will issue a one-year COR certificate(s) from the date of the original certificate expiry. (i.e. a certificate with an expiry date of 2020-05-03 will now have an expiry date of 2021-05-03). Employers accepted into the waiver program will require re-certification audit(s) to be conducted by an external auditor (internal auditor for small employers) in 2021 on or before their new certificate expiry date.

If you are due to complete a re-certification audit in 2020 (whether Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), or both OHS and Return-to-Work (RTW) COR), and your current COR certificate expires on or after September 1, 2020, the current guidance from WorkSafeBC is that they intend to move forward with the COR program, as normal. They will be reviewing the COVID-19 outbreak over the summer and, if there are continuing or additional restrictions, they may extend the waiver program or take other action.

If you have any specific questions or concerns in the meantime, please contact the go2HR Industry Health and Safety team.

Q: We qualified for a 2020 audit waiver. However, we would like to proceed with our full re-certification audit in 2020, instead of waiting until 2021 to re-certify. What should we do?

A: Even though you may have already qualified for an audit waiver, you are still able to conduct a re-certification audit in 2020, subject to the latest public health guidance, as well as your level of business/operational activity. If approved, this regular re-certification audit would have a three-year validity and your audit waiver would be cancelled. Please contact the go2HR Industry Health and Safety team if you would like further information regarding this.

Q: We are interested in becoming COR certified and were planning to arrange our certification audit. Given the current circumstances, should we postpone our audit?

A: All new 2020 COR employer certifications must follow the current normal processes and requirements, including being in “normal operating mode” at the time of audit, as directed by WorkSafeBC. If that is not currently possible, employers should defer pursuing COR certification until the requirements may be met. We are happy to discuss your particular situation with you at any time, to help you decide when might be the best time to pursue COR certification.

Q: We recertified earlier this year and have not yet received our new COR certificate. Who should we follow up with?

A: WorkSafeBC’s weekly process to print and mail hard-copy certificates to go2HR has temporarily ceased. However, their process to generate new COR certificate numbers and publish these certification details on their website continues as normal. Should you wish to access your new certificate number or need to provide proof of COR qualification, for bidding purposes, please visit the appropriate section of WorkSafeBC’s website.

Q: We have already completed our COR audit for 2020. Do we have to do anything else?

A: If your COR audit has already been completed and approved by go2HR, rest assured that it has been treated as part of our normal course of business. The only difference is, if this was a recertification audit, you won’t be receiving a hard-copy certificate at this time, as per the previous Q&A.


Q:   Can my employees refuse to return to work from a temporary layoff because they earn more on CERB?

A:  BC’s Employment Standards legislation states that employees cannot simply refuse to return to work when being recalled from a laid off. If they do, employers could deem them to have resigned and would not owe the employee any severance. The employee would also no longer be eligible to receive the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

As individual situations vary, employers should address employee return refusals on a case-by-case basis.

We would encourage open communication with employees to discussion why they don’t want to return as well as explore and provide options for return, where appropriate.

Terminations of employment (including whether or not to consider an employee to have resigned) during the COVID-19 pandemic may require additional considerations. Employers are encouraged to consult legal counsel.

Q:  What if an employee refuses to return to work because they don’t feel safe?

Workers in BC have the right to refuse work if they believe it presents an undue hazard. An undue hazard is an “unwarranted, inappropriate, excessive, or disproportionate” risk, above and beyond the potential exposure a general member of the public would face through regular, day-to-day activity.

As individual situations vary, employers should address employee return refusals on a case-by-case basis.

Workers Compensation legislation requires employers to address the refusal of unsafe work within their health and safety policies and program for their workplace.

A refusal of unsafe work would require the employer and the employee/worker to follow specific steps within their workplace to investigate and resolve the issue. If the matter is not resolved, the worker and the supervisor or employer must contact WorkSafeBC and a prevention officer will then investigate and take steps to find a workable solution for all involved.

Work refusal situations can be challenging and complex, please feel free to contact us if additional support or information is required: safety@go2hr.ca

Q:  How can we encourage employees to return to work if they are hesitant or we only have minimal hours for them?

Individuals can earn up to $1000 in income within a max of 14 consecutive days of a four week benefit period, and still be eligible to receive the CERB. The option to supplement their CERB benefits while they are eligible, may be enough to entice some employees to return.

This situation is similar to that of recruiting in a tough labour market, pre-COVID. Employers may also want to consider what they can offer in the way of incentives to entice their employees back to work (as opposed to staying home or considering other job opportunities).

Recognizing that each business is different and that the COVID crisis has put many businesses in a difficult financial situation, below are a range of non-monetary and other incentive options for employers to consider:

Non-monetary Incentives:

  • Flexible working arrangements (e.g. choice of hours or shifts, compressed work week, remote work)
  • Consider signing up for an employee rewards program (e.g. Perkopolis)

Other suggestions:

  • Shift premium for working during the COVID crisis (such as grocery stores are doing)
  • Additional paid time off (e.g. birthday, personal days, time to volunteer)
  • Additional vacation time

Q:  We are revising our medical form that staff fill out when we hire them, in order to gain a better understanding of their medical conditions and medication that they may be on. Are you able to give some guidance on what employers are and are not allowed to ask?

A:  Personal information requested from employees are subject to both human rights and privacy legislation.

Only personal information that is directly required for the performance of the job may be collected (and this is a very narrow description), and should be stored in accordance with privacy regulations.

Under normal circumstances, requesting any medical information can be challenging. But due to the current scenario, employers can ask employees if they are exhibiting any symptoms related to COVID-19 (and other related questions) through a questionnaire if need be.

Q:  One of our employees is scheduled to return in the coming weeks when her maternity leave ends but we don’t have a position for her, as we have laid off all of our employees due to COVID-19. What should we do?

A:  The laws around maternity and parental leaves have not changed. You need to bring your employee back to work however in this case you may then need to lay her off due to COVID-19.  She could then apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

As this is a sensitive situation, we encourage employers to ensure clear, ongoing and transparent communication with your employee.


Q: Have there been any changes to BC’s Employment Standards legislation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: Yes. Employer should be aware of the following changes:

BC Minimum Wage Increase

Labour Minister Harry Bains recently confirmed that effective June 1, 2020 the BC minimum wage will increase to $14.60 per hour, from $13.85 per hour. This increase is part of the BC government’s original planned move towards a $15.20 per hour minimum wage by June 1, 2021.

More Information:


Q: Have there been any changes related to the BC Employer Health Tax (EHT)?

A: The BC Employer Health Tax filing and payment deadline for the 2019 calendar year has been extended to September 30, 2020

More Information:


Q:  We are preparing to reopen our business. Where can employers find information about what they need to have in place for health and safety so that they can reopen their business? 

A:  go2HR, with input from industry, has also developed a COVID-19 Best Practices template, offering health and safety tips and sample best practices for employers and workers to follow, as you look towards business recovery.

Q: In what situations should employees not come to work, in relation to COVID-19?

A:

  • Anyone with potential COVID 19 symptoms such as sore throat, fever, sneezing, or coughing must self‐isolate at home for 14 days.
  • Workers who have travelled internationally. In these cases, they must remain away from the workplace for at least 14 days.
  • A worker who shares a residence with another person that has been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Workers who have been exposed to anyone confirmed to have COVID-19, or to anyone with possible symptoms of COVID-19, should call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 for an assessment and to determine if any further action is required.

Q: An employee has tested positive for COVID-19 – what does the employer do?

A: The employee should be asked to stay at home and must not be permitted to return to the workplace until they are free of the COVID-19 virus. Any other employees who worked closely with the affected worker must also go into self-isolation at home for 14 days, to prevent the infection from spreading in the workplace, and contact HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 for an assessment and to determine any necessary next steps. (What describes “closely” would be dependent on the nature of interaction between employees, but employers must err on the side of caution when making this determination)

Q: Should the employer divulge the name of the individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 to other employees?

A: The employer should take reasonable measures to protect the identity of the affected worker, when establishing who they may have come into contact with. It may be challenging to provide sufficient information to your team members while protecting the privacy of the affected worker and in small organizations it may be more obvious. Ultimately, employers must strive to provide as little personal information as possible but as much detail as is required in order to ensure the health and safety of the other team members.

Q: One of our employees told us that they came into contact with someone who has COVID-19. What should we do?

A: The employee who came into contact with the affected individual should be removed from the workplace immediately and asked to self-isolate for 14 days. Other workers who may have come into close contact with the employee should also be removed from the workplace for at least a 14 day period and asked to monitor symptoms. Employers should have a policy requiring anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 such as sore throat, fever, sneezing, or coughing to self-isolate at home for 14 days, as well as anyone advised by public health to self-isolate. This is a good opportunity to reiterate the policy to your team and make sure that everyone understands their responsibilities.

Q: If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, does the employer have to report it to the provincial or federal government?

A: No. the medical professional who received the diagnosis is obliged to report the positive test result to the provincial health authorities. There is no obligation for the employer to report a confirmed case of COVID-19.

If an employee in the workplace is diagnosed, the employer may choose to voluntarily contact the public health authority to receive further advice and assistance on how to identify other potential workplace contacts. This is best determined on a case by case basis and may be influenced by a variety of factors, including the individual’s potential exposure to members of the public.

If the employee becomes ill or dies from COVID-19, and it is determined that the infection occurred at the workplace or in the course of employment, there may be an obligation, under health and safety and workers’ compensation legislation, to notify WorkSafeBC.

Q: Are there any general cleaning and disinfecting guidelines that we should follow?

A: Ensure facilities are being thoroughly cleaned at least once per day, including a disinfectant wipe down of all touch points (e.g. door handles, toilet handles, windows, stairs, handrails, door handles, garbage handles, phones).

Refer to this Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces document for further details about cleaning and disinfection in the workplace.

Q: What kind of mental health resources are available for tourism and hospitality workers and business owners?

A: There are a range of resources available. These are just a few:

  • The BC Psychological Association is offering free “psychological first aid” sessions to help any health care or essential worker cope with stress, anxiety or uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Mind the Bar is a non-profit mental health resource, support system and community hub, designed for the hospitality industry. Mind the Bar is helping hospitality workers get fast-tracked for access to any mental health professional within the LifeWorks app.
  • Take a look at these mental health resources on our website.

Q: How can we ensure cooks in small spaces maintain proper physical distancing?

A:

  • Work with minimal staff allowing physical distancing
  • Consider staggering shifts so fewer workers are on-site
  • Adjust work space to allow physical distancing
  • Adjust menus, focusing on items that are easy to prepare within the space

Q: Do employers have to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and can they enforce the wearing of it?

A: If you are an employer, you are responsible for providing and enforcing the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in your workplace, as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

When all other measures have been considered and found to be impractical or ineffective at controlling a particular workplace hazard, PPE may be necessary, as a last resort, either alone or in conjunction with other, more effective controls. Aside from providing PPE, employers must ensure that:

  • the right type of PPE is selected for the job;
  • it fits and is comfortable to wear under working conditions;
  • workers are trained in how to use it;
  • it is regularly cleaned, inspected and maintained and stored properly when not in use.

Supervisors are responsible for monitoring the use of PPE in the workplace.

Workers must wear any PPE that is required for the job. They must also make sure that it doesn’t cause any health and safety issues, such as interfering with breathing, mobility or vision.

Q: Do cooks need to wear gloves when preparing food?

A: No. However, if the employee chooses to use gloves:

  • Ensure they wash their hands thoroughly before and after using gloves.
  • Ensure employees change gloves frequently and always between different tasks.
  • Ensure proper removal and disposal of gloves. Check out this resource from WorkSafeBC: Glove removal procedure.
  • If not using gloves, food handlers must still wash their hands frequently, when starting work, after returning to the kitchen from a break, after touching their face, sneezing or coughing and always between different tasks.

Q: What do we have to do if we have employees working alone?

A: Employers must have procedures in place to ensure the well-being of workers who work alone or in isolation. This should include regular check-ins. Lone workers may be at increased risk of confrontations or even violence, particularly if they are on shift during late night hours. Lone workers must be able to get assistance if they are injured or there is an emergency. Check out WorkSafeBC’s Working Alone Handbook for more information.

Q: Our hotel is being used by essential workers who need to be away from home for extended periods of time to respond to COVID-19, so that they can self-isolate, or meet work demands. What can we do to protect our front-line employees?

A: If a guest is staying at a hotel for the purposes of self-quarantining, remind them to inform local health authorities or staff immediately if they exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Instruct the guest to confine themselves to their guestroom
  • You should NOT be providing cleaning, housekeeping or valet services to self-isolating guests
  • Stock guest rooms with extra towels, linens, toilet paper, garbage can liners, etc. in advance of guest check ins
  • Provide large garbage bags and plastic laundry bags and have guests place them outside their door at regular frequencies for disposal and cleaning
  • Treat everything that is picked up from any guest’s room as if it is contaminated. Staff should wear disposable gloves, dispose of the gloves properly, and wash their hands thoroughly and regularly.

Also:

  • Consider discontinuing door and/or bell service
  • Temporarily close access to common areas that may be considered high-touch contagious areas, such as pools, gyms, and saunas
  • Limit food services to packaged meals that can be dropped off at the door and disposed of by the guest
  • Disinfect elevator buttons, stair rails, door handles, and other surfaces regularly and thoroughly
  • Consider self check-in to provide physical distancing with front desk
  • Inform staff and guests that they must maintain proper physical distancing (2 metres distance between people)
  • Display information in various locations to show staff and guests what you are doing to control exposure to COVID-19
  • Refer to this BC Hotel Association guide on taking care of guests and employees and this resource on best practices around hotel guests in isolation.

Q: How should we clean our workplace after the individual who tested positive for COVID-19 leaves to go into self-isolation?

A:

  • Clean all common areas where the affected individual may have had access to, thinking about access and egress routes that the individual may have taken when coming to and leaving work.
  • If you share your building with other tenants and businesses, you should also make them aware of the situation. Consider elevators, restrooms, staff changing rooms, and other back of house and front of house areas.
  • Aside from performing a deep clean, an enhanced daily cleaning schedule should be implemented on an ongoing basis.
  • Be sure to use appropriate cleaning and disinfection products, along with any required personal protective equipment.
  • On an individual level, all employees should continue to follow the guidelines provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control in order to help reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the virus.

Q: What measures should employers put in place to help protect themselves and others while at work?

A: If it is necessary for workers to come to work, employers should take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. The priority should be to ensure social and physical distancing is practiced by everyone in your workplace, including:

  • If practicable, consider reconfiguring the workplace to maintain appropriate distance between workers.
  • Limiting worker participation in in-person gatherings and encouraging virtual meetings and teleconferences as an alternative.
  • Limiting worker travel.
  • Educating workers on measures to help prevent the transmission of infectious disease and their duty to report symptoms or suspected exposure to COVID-19.
  • Increase workplace cleaning, provide the necessary supplies, and reinforce personal hygiene messages to workers.

Q: What should workers do when at the workplace, to help reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19?

A: Comply with the employer’s instructions around minimizing exposure to COVID-19.

  • Wash their hands frequently, and/or use hand sanitizer.
  • Take steps to minimize exposure to COVID-19 while away from work.
  • Immediately inform their supervisor/manager if they suspect they have COVID-19 or have come into contact with someone else who is suspected as having it.

Q:  What are the health and safety guidelines that employers should be aware of, for staff housing?

A:   Where staff housing is provided, the following points should be considered:

  • Develop a COVID-19 infection prevention and control protocol to reduce the risk of transmission both in worker accommodation and in vehicles used for work and to transport workers to and from their accommodation;
  • Ensure that all staff members living in staff housing are familiar with the prevention and control measures and that they follow them at all times;
  • Appoint a coordinator to oversee all aspects of the protocol, including monitoring workers for COVID-19 symptoms, to act as a source of support and information and to ensure ongoing compliance with the prevention and control protocol;
  • Monitor public health guidance regularly and adhere to any appropriate controls and/or provincial health officer orders, if applicable;
  • Display information relating to guidance and/or provincial health officer orders, as well as other general information in a prominent area, for the attention of all workers.

For more information, including physical distancing guidelines for staff housing, please refer to the go2HR COVID-19 Best Practices Template.

Q: What if a worker raises concerns about unsafe work in relation to COVID-19?

A: Workers have the right to refuse work if they believe it presents an undue hazard. This refers to an “unwarranted, inappropriate, excessive or disproportionate” risk. Such risk is considered to be above and beyond what a general member of the public would face through routine, day to day activities.

If such a situation were to arise, the worker would be required to follow specific steps to resolve the issue, including reporting the undue hazard to their employer so that it may be investigated.

The employer must consider any right to refuse unsafe work on an individual basis, depending on the specifics of the situation.

Q: Can employees be disciplined for a work refusal?

A: Provincial occupational health and safety legislation generally provides that employers cannot dismiss, discipline, or intimidate employees for properly exercising a health and safety right.

If the work refusal has been exercised in bad faith an employer may be justified in imposing discipline however, the ability to discipline will depend on the circumstances of the work refusal and the language in the applicable work refusal right.

Employers considering discipline for a refusing worker may want to consider consulting legal counsel.

Q: How can my kitchen staff practice physical distancing in the workplace when our kitchen is so small?

A: It may be particularly challenging to practice physical distancing in busy and compact work environments, such as kitchens. The goal, as for all work environments, should be to increase the space between members of staff when preparing food. The same rule applies when staff are interacting with customers during take-out and delivery services.

You should think about ways to implement physical distancing in your workplace and consider options like:

  • Posting physical distancing posters and marking/dividing different areas to remind staff and customers
  • Staggering activities, such as food preparation, in order to limit the number of staff working in a confined space at any one time
  • Moving some activities to different rooms or unused areas, to allow for increased separation
  • Adjusting shift times to minimize the number of employees working at any one time.

Q: What should we do if a hotel guest tells one of our employees that they have COVID-19?

A: If a staff member is made aware of a guest confirmed to have COVID-19 they should contact the General Manager or owner immediately. The hotel should promptly coordinate with local health authorities to establish crisis management procedures. Guests should also be required to remain in their room.

Additional best-practices, operating procedures and considerations for dealing with hotel guests in isolation can be found here.

Q: Can staff question a guest if they have COVID-19?

A: It is recommended that staff do not question guests or make assumptions regarding their health. It would also be inappropriate to check their passports or ask about their recent travel.

Q: What should we do if guests want to self-isolate at our hotel?

A: If a guest is staying at your hotel for the purposes of self-isolating, they should be reminded to inform local health authorities or staff immediately if they exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19.

Hotels should also consider temporarily modifying operations, such as:

  • Not providing cleaning or housekeeping services
  • Asking the guest to confine themselves to their guestroom
  • Adjusting room service procedures

If a guest is denied a reservation for the reasons of self-quarantining, it is possible that they may check-in to another hotel without disclosing their circumstances.

Additional best-practices, operating procedures and considerations for dealing with hotel guests in isolation can be found here.

Q: We operate a campground and have a number of winter renters as well as snowbirds who have just returned to Canada and are now staying with us. What should we do to protect our workers and other guests?

A: If you have not already, develop a COVID-19 policy. Inform employees of the policy and provide a copy to all guests.

Keep guests safe by not gathering and maintaining physical distancing (approx. 2 meters). The BC Campground and Lodging Association has the following suggestions: Close access to common areas such as the pool, clubhouse, beach, playgrounds etc. Some campgrounds are limiting access to laundry and washrooms between set hours to allow for extra cleaning cycles. Others are closing all facilities. We encourage you to determine what is safe at your business for you, your employees and guests.

RV snowbirds returning to Canada are now required to complete a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. This means keeping them in a self-contained site with full hook-ups and restricting access to any other on-site amenities (laundry, common areas), employees and guests. Guests should not leave their RV during this period and have others deliver necessities for them, if required.

Once their 14-day quarantine expires, guests should be required to follow physical distancing and other rules in place for all other guests.


Q:  How long can an employee be on a temporary layoff before the employer needs to bring them back, to avoid the layoff becoming a termination?

A: Effective May 4, the BC government extended the temporary layoff period to 16 weeks within a 20-week period

  • This change only applies to layoffs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Employee(s) must agree to extend their temporary layoff status.
  • This change aligns the layoff provisions of the BC Employment Standards Act with the 16-week benefit period set out in the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Q: Does the employee vacation need to be paid out before they can go on EI? Some of our staff don’t want their vacation to be paid out as they want to take it at a later stage.

A: If the layoff is considered temporary as defined within the Employment Standards Act (ESA) then paying vacation pay is not a requirement. If the layoff is not temporary, then vacation pay would need to be paid out.

We are inclined to be sympathetic and say if employees don’t want to be paid out, don’t force it on them. We have high hope the layoff will last a short time. Employees will need their vacations. They aren’t being terminated, just sent home for the duration. If it drags on, employees have a little stash of vacation money they can ask for at a later time.

More Information:

Q: What do we do if an employee requests a layoff so that they can stay home and care for a child because they have no daycare or need to care for an ill family member?

A: Under these circumstances, the employee would qualify for the new COVID-19 Leave as provided for with BC’s employment standards. They would also be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Q: Is the BC minimum wage still scheduled to increase on June 1, 2020?

A: Yes. Labour Minister Harry Bains recently confirmed that effective June 1, 2020 the BC minimum wage will increase to $14.60 per hour, from $13.85 per hour. This increase is part of the BC government’s original planned move towards a $15.20 per hour minimum wage by June 1, 2021.

More Information:

Q: I have to close my business and lay staff off staff. The Employment Standards Act states I must pay final wages within 48 hours after the last day worked. These layoffs will happen between regular paydays and I am concerned I won’t be able to do that within the 48-hour time period because of payroll system technology and financial cash flow issues. What do I do?

A: Do the very best you can in meeting your obligations and use your very best due diligence in meeting the legal requirements. Under these circumstances it is unlikely that there will be repercussions if you did everything possible and in good faith. Ensure open communication with your employee(s).

Provides employees with immediate, unlimited and unpaid, job-protected leave if they are not able to work for any of the following reasons:

  • They have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are following the instructions of a medical health officer or the advice of a doctor or nurse
  • They are in quarantine or self-isolation and are acting in accordance with an order of the provincial health officer, an order made under the Quarantine Act (Canada), guidelines from the BC Centre for Disease Control or guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Their employer has directed them not to work due to concern about their exposure to others
  • They need to provide care to their minor child or a dependent adult who is their child or former foster child for a reason related to COVID-19 (including closures of school, daycare or similar facilities)
  • They are outside of BC and unable to return to work due to travel or border restrictions

Effective:

  • This leave is retroactive to January 27, 2020 and will remain in effect until such time as is no longer needed, then will be removed from the Employment Standards Act.

Duration:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no limit to how long employees can take this job-protected leave for, without putting their job at risk, as long as the reason is related to those the above.


Provides employees with up to three (3) days of unpaid, job-protected leave each year for employees who are covered by the Employment Standards Act and can’t work due to personal illness or injury.

  • Employees must have worked for the employer at least 90 days
  • If requested, employees will be required to provide enough information to satisfy their employer that they are ill or injured and therefore entitled to this leave
  • This leave is a permanent addition to the Employment Standards Act

More Information:

Temporary Layoff Period Extended

  • Effective May 4, the BC government extended the temporary layoff period to 16 weeks within a 20-week period
  • This change only applies to layoffs related to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Employee(s) must agree to extend their temporary layoff status
  • This change aligns the layoff provisions of the BC Employment Standards Act with the 16-week benefit period set out in the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Exception from Compensation and/or Notice of Termination Due to COVID-19 

The BC Employment Standards Regulation – Exceptions – Act Part 8, Section 65, Subsection (1)(d) provides for exceptions to compensation for length of service, written notice of termination or group termination pay due to COVID-19.

The regulation states, in part:

If the closure or staffing reduction is directly related to COVID-19 and there is no way for the employee to perform work in a different way (for example, working from home) an exception may apply to exclude employees from receiving compensation for length of service and group termination pay. However, this may not always be the case.

If an employer terminates an employee for reasons that are not directly related to COVID-19, or if the employee’s work could still be done (perhaps in a different way) this exemption would not apply.

Decisions on whether this exception applies are made by the Director on a case-by-case basis.

More Information: Employment Standards website – Exceptions – Act Part 8, Section 65, Subsection (1)(d)

Important: Terminations during the COVID-19 pandemic may require additional consideration. Employers may want to consult legal counsel prior to terminating in order to avoid potential liabilities.

Q: What do I put on the ROE as the reason for layoff?

A: Shortage of Work (Code A). Do not add comments.

Q: If an employee requests a lay off so that they can look after their mother and self-quarantine (not risk covid-19 exposure/passing anything on) what do I use as the ROE layoff reason? Illness/sickness or other?

A: K (other). Do not add comments

Q: What code do we use for an employee who refuses to come to work but is not sick or quarantined?

A: Use code E (Quit) or code N (Leave of absence), as appropriate. Avoid adding comments.

Q: Where can I find more information about how to fill out an ROE?

A: Website: How to Complete the Record of Employment (ROE) form


Q: Can we hire new employees on a temporary basis to replace current employees who are away from work due to an illness, self-quarantine or having to care for others due to COVID-19?

A: Yes, employers are able to hire new employees if needed to fill gaps left by employees who are away and unable to work due to COVID-19.

  • Important to note that the new COVID-19 leave or new Personal Illness or Injury leaves as provided for within BC’s employment standards legislation are both job-protected leaves. This means that when the leave ends, employers are required to bring individuals back to their job or one like it.
  • It is up to the employer to contact the employee and arrange for the return to work.

Q:  Is it acceptable for tourism employers to post job ads and recruit at this time?

A:  Absolutely! Industry employers can log in and post jobs onto the go2HR job board at no cost.

In response to COVID-19, employers may want to include information in their job postings about what they are doing to ensure a safe and health workplace for their employees.

Q:  What is a Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) Plan?

A:  A Supplemental Unemployment Benefits (SUB) plan allows an employer to top up an employee’s EI benefits during periods of unemployment (e.g.  temporary stoppage of work or illness, injury or quarantine).

  • All SUB Plans must be approved by Service Canada before they can start
  • The employer’s contribution combined with the weekly EI benefit cannot exceed 95% of the employee’s weekly earnings
  • SUB Plans must be in effect for at least one year and may be in effect for up to five years.

Eligibility:

  • Employer required to submit a SUB Plan in advance of implementation
  • Employee must be eligible for EI

Application Process:

  1. Create a SUB Plan
  2. Submit the SUB Plan, Registration form and any additional supporting documents
  3. Obtain Service Canada Approval before implementing the plan

Resources:

Q: Can a SUB Plan be used to top up the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)? 

A: Unfortunately the provisions under the Employment Insurance (EI) Regulations that enable employers to make additional payments to workers in receipt of EI benefits through SUB plans do not apply to the CERB.

Q: We have an employee who is on an EI claim that started before March 15, 2020. Could we submit a SUB plan for that employee?

A: Yes. Employers may continue to submit SUB plans to enable them to make payments to employees who are currently receiving EI regular or sickness benefits for claims that started prior to March 15, 2020.

Q: Could a SUB plan be used to top up employees once they exhaust the 16 weeks of CERB, if they are not recalled to work?

A: Eligible employees who move onto regular EI benefits after the CERB may be topped up through a SUB plan.

Q: Can employers extend the duration of an existing and already approved SUB Plan or do they need to re-apply?

A: Employers who are already participating in the program will automatically receive a request to renew from Service Canada – SUB Program before the end date of their plan.

Q: Are Temporary Foreign Workers eligible for EI benefits?

A: In response to COVID-19, Temporary Foreign Workers that have met the eligibility requirements (hours worked) will qualify for EI benefits.

Q: What if a Temporary Foreign Worker has only been here a short time and hasn’t worked enough hours to qualify for EI?

A: Those who have not met the eligibility requirements of EI will qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Q: We have Temporary Foreign Workers living in our staff housing, with nowhere else to go. Will they qualify for the $500 temporary rental supplement being provided by the BC government?

A: Not likely if their name is not on the lease. In those cases, some employers are choosing to provide rent reductions or eliminations to assist those employees.

Q: What options do Temporary Foreign Workers have who no longer have jobs, are unable to work for another employer and are stuck in Canada – unable to return to their country due to travel restrictions?

A: Temporary foreign workers in Canada under a work permit can apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to extend their work permit and remain in Canada as a temporary worker or apply to stay as a visitor.

If no longer working, foreign workers can apply to change their status to visitor, as long as the work permit has not expired.

Workers that intend to continue working may be able to extend their work permit if they are eligible.

Q: What if a Temporary Foreign Worker wants to extend their work permit but it has already expired?

A: If the work permit has already expired, and it has been less than 90 days, workers can apply to restore status.

If it has been more than 90 days since the worker permit has expired the worker may be eligible to apply for a temporary resident permit. With a temporary resident permit, the worker can remain in Canada with legal status.

Applicants needing a work permit extension to remain in Canada, even during a lay-off, should advise IRCC of the current situation by either attaching a note to their application to extend their work permit or, if they’ve already applied, by making a case-specific enquiry via the IRCC Web form.

More information is available on IRCC’s website for special measures to help temporary and permanent residents and applicants affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID 19)

Q: What should Temporary Foreign Workers do if they have an application for permanent residence in process and have now been laid off?

A: Depending on the worker’s situation, they will need to take the following actions:

  1. IF they have applied through Express Entry under the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, or Canadian Experience Class AND they received points in the Comprehensive Ranking System for a valid job offer, they should advise IRCC by making a case-specific enquiry via the Web form. When the application for permanent residence is assessed, IRCC will consider the current status of their employer due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  1. IF they’ve applied through the BC PNP with a full-time, permanent job offer and have since been laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic, they should advise the BC PNP so that this information can be taken into consideration. BC PNP will advise of the next steps to be taken.

Applicants needing a work permit extension to remain in Canada, even during a lay-off, should advise IRCC of the current situation by either attaching a note to their application to extend their work permit or, if they’ve already applied, by making a case-specific enquiry via the IRCC Web form.

Q: Can foreign workers with Working Holiday, Young Professional or Post-Graduate work permit holders extend their work permits?

A: Working holiday and young professional work permits under International Experience Canada are not extendable (although candidates with one may be eligible to apply for a second participation in the program).

Post-graduation work permits are also not extendable, unless they were not issued to the maximum possible length due to the validity of the applicant’s passport.

Q: Are International Student Study permits extendable?

A: Yes. An international student whose study permit will be expiring in the next 90 days can apply to extend it.

Q: Can International Students continue to work?

A: Yes, they can continue working as long as they continue to meet the conditions printed on their study permit. In some cases, due to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, their courses may have been suspended or moved to distance learning.

Students in this situation are able to continue working 20 hours per week during academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks in the academic calendar.

Q: Can international workers apply for a new work permit if their current permit is expiring?

A: Yes, they can reapply.

Q: What are the options for an international worker who is interested in applying for an open work permit?

A: There are also several ways to be eligible for an open work permit, including as the spouse or common-law partner of an international student or skilled foreign worker, or as an in-Canada applicant for permanent residence awaiting decision.

More Information:

Q: I understand that International Experience Canada (IEC) invitations are on hold. Is there a timeline for this or is it indefinite at the current time?

A: Invitations are on hold until further notice is posted on the IRCC website.

Q: Will IEC still be processing applications?

A: IRCC is continuing to accept submissions of profiles into IEC pools. However, due to service interruptions, applications are not being processed at this time.

No applications in process will be closed or refused due to a lack of documentation or inability to complete the application process in time, such as giving biometrics or completing a medical exam.

More information:


Q: If an employee is terminated due to a business closure or staffing reduction related to COVID-19, is an employer required to pay compensation for length of service and group termination pay?

A: If the closure or staffing reduction is directly related to COVID-19 and there is no way for the employee to perform work in a different way (for example, working from home) an exception may apply to exclude employees from receiving compensation for length of service and group termination pay. However, this may not always be the case.

If an employer terminates an employee for reasons that are not directly related to COVID-19, or if the employee’s work could still be done (perhaps in a different way) this exemption would not apply.

  • The Employment Standards will deal with termination exception situations on a case-by-case basis
  • Terminations during the COVID-19 pandemic may require additional consideration. Employers may want to consult legal counsel prior to

More Information:

Q: Is this being treated as a “group termination” and hence do we as employers need a code from the Minister of Labour?

A: If the employer is laying off 50 or more employees from a single location within a 2-month period, the group termination provisions of the BC ESA still stand.

More Information:

Q: I run a small (non-union) hotel and have an employee who was hired 2 weeks ago and then didn’t show up for work. He claims he has allergies (not COVID-19 related). We advised him to stay home and then he quit with a letter stating that he is not in good health. Since he has only been with us for 2 weeks and didn’t show up for work, do we have any obligations to him?

A: No


Q: We are going to have some of our staff work from home and think this is a good opportunity to have them take a course. Please let me know the courses which are beneficial for hotel and other front-line employees.

A: Please find below links to a range of online training programs that may be of interest for front line and supervisory employees. We want to make training accessible for everyone during this time, so we are offering 20% off SuperHost online courses.


Q: Have there been any changes to payment requirements for WorkSafeBC premiums?

A: We have been informed that WorkSafeBC has decided to allow employers to defer payment of their Q1 2020 premiums by three months. This means employers who report payroll and make payments on a quarterly basis, as well as Personal Optional Protection (POP) coverage holders, can defer payment until June 30, 2020. Employers who report annually will not be impacted because they do not report payroll or pay premiums until March 2021.

Employers who report and pay on a quarterly basis may still find it to their advantage to report their payroll by April 20, even if they defer payment, to ensure their account balance is accurate and clearance is not negatively impacted.

More information will be provided to employers in WorkSafeBC’s upcoming Q1 mailing, as well as through worksafebc.com and incoming phone messages to their Employer Service Centre. WorkSafeBC is actively monitoring and adjusting to the COVID-19 situation to determine how they can best support their stakeholders around the province.


Q: Is Work Sharing an option for tourism employers?

A: The Work-Sharing program can help employers avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the employer’s control

  • Employees agree to reduce their hours, equally share the available work and receive EI to supplement their income

Eligibility Requirements

Employers:

  • A year-round business in Canada for at least 1 year
  • Private business, not-for-profits and publicly held companies
  • Shortage of work is temporary, beyond the employer’s control and not cyclical
  • Business activity has declined by at least 10% in the last 6 months
  • At least 2 employees (who share similar work) in a work sharing unit
  • Required to submit and implement a recovery plan to return employees to normal hours

Employees:

  • Year-round, full-time, part-time or temporary “core” employees who are needed to carry out the day-to-day functions of the business (Casual, on-call and seasonal employees are not eligible)
  • Eligible to receive EI benefits, and
  • Must all agree to reduce their normal working hours by the same percentage and to share the available work
  • NEW – Employees considered essential to the recovery and viability of the business (due to COVID-19) can now be eligible to participate in Work Sharing

How it Works:

  • Program duration: Min. 6 weeks/ max 76 weeks due to COVID-19 (normally 38 weeks)
  • Waiting period: None, however processing of EI benefits may take a few weeks

Apply:

More information:

Q: Are seasonal employees, summer or co-op students eligible for the Work Sharing program?

A: Unfortunately, no. Neither are casual, on-call employees.

Q: Do employee benefits continue while they are on a work sharing agreement?

A: Yes. Employers are required to continue all existing employee benefits (including vacation, health/dental insurance, pension benefits, group disability, etc.) for the duration of the Work-Sharing agreement.

If benefits are calculated based on earnings or hours of work, those benefits (including any subsequent payout of benefits) may be reduced.

If statutory holidays occur within a Work-Sharing period compensation those hours is the responsibility of the employer as employees will not be compensated by EI benefits.

Q: Can an employee who is part of a work sharing agreement also receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)?

A: No