Questions from Employers and Employees

Employer Questions

Question 1:
How do I operate my business and still protect everyone?


Answer:
It is suggested that you implement the same measures as outlined by the provincial and government related to social distancing, providing all necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and implementing measures to support recommended hygiene while at work, along with other measures to maintain worker Health & Safety (including wipe down of surfaces and social distancing, etc.) at all times while at work.

Resources:
Risk-informed decision-making for workplaces/businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic
A framework for risk-informed decision making about public health actions for workplaces/businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic

Government of Canada
Resources for Canadian Businesses

BDC
COVID-19 health and safety updates

Question 2:
Where do I find information about what measures my staff need on the job site?


Answer: Refer to; Keep informed with the latest COVID-19 health and safety updates and click on “Prevention and Risk” for the most up to date information.        
 
Question: How can I take care of my staff?

Answer:
Take every precaution in terms of providing health and safety for all. Provide constant communications and updated information to all staff and clients.

Resources:
Risk-informed decision-making for workplaces/businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic
A framework for risk-informed decision making about public health actions for workplaces/businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic

Government of Canada
Resources for Canadian Businesses
 
Document all training undertaken as you normally would and keep records of employee attendance.

Question 3:
How can I help my employees if they are laid-off?


Answer:
There are temporary Employment Insurance (EI) measures made available by the government. Employees should be provided this information and encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible upon notice of lay off.
Employment Insurance (EI)

Question 3b:
Are there supports for employees who need to stay on EI due COVID-19 and their benefits are expected to end soon?

Answer:
Canadians who are already receiving EI regular and sickness benefits as of today would continue to receive their benefits and should not apply to the CERB. If their EI benefits end before October 3, 2020, they could apply for the CERB once their EI benefits cease, if they are unable to return to work due to COVID-19. Canadians who have already applied for EI and whose application has not yet been processed would not need to reapply. Canadians who are eligible for EI regular and sickness benefits would still be able to access their normal EI benefits, if still unemployed, after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.
MORE INFORMATION ON THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION

Question 4:
What should I do if I suspect that I or one of my co-workers/ family members is ill?


Answer: 
Take the NL Self Assessment

Question 5:
How do I fill out a Record of Employment (ROE) for lay offs due to the COVID-19?


Answer:
There are 2 resources provided:

  1. Federal Government: Guidance for Employment Insurance- Record of Employment
  2. Canadian Payroll Association: Payroll and COVID-19


Question 6:
What should I do if a case does arise at our workplace?

Answer:
Follow the same protocols your company has in place when dealing with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and reportable incident with Workers Compensation (WSIB).
For more information about WSIB insurance, claims management, and the COVID-19 virus, CLICK HERE

Question 7:
Business/Corporations: What do I need to know about corporate tax returns and filing?


Answer:
There has been no change to the filing due dates for T2 corporate returns. CRA is allowing business to defer payment of income tax amounts that are owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020 until August 31, 2020. It is our understanding that any balances deferred (as described above) would not have any additional interest accrued until after August 31, 2020.

Question 8:
The government announced a 10% payroll subsidy for businesses. How do I access that?


Answer:
There is no change for GST/HST, payroll remittances or any other withholdings.

Question 9:
Has there been any change to GST/HST or payroll remittances?


Answer:
The 10% payroll subsidy is in effect immediately. Any eligible small employers may reduce their payroll remittances to the CRA equal to 10% of the gross wages paid to an employee up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. The subsidy applies to remuneration paid to employees on or after March 18th and before June 20th.


You are an eligible employer if you:

  • are a non-profit organization, registered charity, or a Canadian-controlled private corporation (CCPC);
  • have an existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020; and
  • pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an employee.


CCPCs are only eligible for the subsidy if their associated group taxable capital in Canada for the preceding tax year is less than $15 million.)

Example: For example, if you had 3 employees that earned a total of $1,500 of gross wages in a remittance period. The total remittance owing is $500, you would pay CRA $350 ($500 – ($1,500 x 10%).

Further details can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/frequently-asked-questions-wage-subsidy-small-businesses.html

Worker Questions

Question 1:
How can we best avoid catching or spreading the COVID-19 virus in our workplace?


Answer:
If you are sick, stay home.  How To Protect Yourself

General Guidance to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health includes:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after touching any frequently used item or surfaces, after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • If there is no tissue available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Social Distancing: Maintain 6’ of personal space and particularly avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Self-isolation/Stay at home.
  • Limit the number of visitors to your home.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray, disinfectant or wipe.


Question 2:
I am sick and I’m not sure if I should come to work. What should I do?


Answer:

  • If you are sick stay home. Take the Self Assessment located here: https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/
  • Refer to the Symptoms: https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/
  • Contact your primary care provider or 811 NL at  811 or https://www.811healthline.ca/if you’re experiencing symptoms of the 2019 nova coronavirus.
  • Please do not visit an assessment centre unless you have been referred by a health care professional.
  • Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.
  • Notify your employer that you are sick and follow the workplace rules on requesting leaves for illnesses. 



Question 3:
My child or family member is sick. What should I do?


Answer:

  • Err on the side of caution and stay home until you better understand their illness.
  • Contact your primary care provider or 811NL at  811 or https://www.811healthline.ca/ to determine whether your family member may have COVID-19 and closely follow their instructions.
  • Notify your employer that you are caring for a sick family member.
  • Discuss alternate /temporary work and/or income support options with your employer.


Question 4:
I think I’ve been exposed to COVID-19. What do I do?


Answer:

  • Stay at home - Do not go to work. 
  • Contact your primary care provider or 811 Nova Scotia at  811 or 1-833-784-4397 to determine your risk level and closely follow their instructions.
  • Notify your employer if you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Depending on your circumstances, you may be asked to quarantine as per guidance identified by the government (incubation period for the virus).
  • Work with your employer to determine if temporary work from home arrangements can be made.
  • If no temporary work from home arrangements are available, the worker will be advised to apply for:
  1. Employment Insurance: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html
  2. Emergency Care and Support Benefits: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html


Question 5:
I am not sick, and my family members are not sick, but a member of my family has a chronic condition or has been deemed at heightened risk by a healthcare professional. I’ve been advised by a doctor or health official to stay home. What do I do?


Answer:


Question 6:
I have a confirmed case of Coronavirus. What do I do?


Answer:

  • Stay home. Do not go to work.
  • Follow your primary care provider’s instructions for your own medical care and for those of your family/household members.
  • Notify your employer immediately that you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and follow the workplace procedures for requesting a leave for illnesses.


Question 7:
I am an employee and a fellow employee has been notified they are with a confirmed case of Coronavirus. What do I do?


Answer:

  • Contact your employer immediately so that risk can be assessed and appropriate steps can be taken to minimize/eliminate additional exposures.


Staying Healthy at Work

Question 1:
I have a worker that I pick up everyday to work, with the social distancing and with the recommendations that we limit that kind of proximity, can I tell him that I cannot pick him up for the time being?


Answer:
It is our duty to maintain the 2m social distancing so unless you can support that you may need to provide other means of transportation and if not possible lay him off. There are EI supports for workers currently. 

Some firms are having staff drive separate vehicles/personal vehicles to stay safe between clients etc. and the business is paying time and mileage... There are strategies possible if you want to continue to serve clients.

Question 2:
Are we allowed to have 1 extra worker in our trucks?


Answer:
Social distancing rules prevail, so to answer your question, as long as that distance is maintained within the truck/vehicle then the answer is yes. (Depends on the size of the vehicle).

Question 3:
Can we still meet customers (obviously practicing social distancing?


Answer:
Yes, many of our members are meeting clients with social distancing measures in play that include:

  • 2 metre distance
  • Video and telephone conference meetings
  • Exchanging communications via e-mail, etc.


General Questions

Question 1:
I just returned from a personal trip from outside of Canada. Can I come to work?


Answer:
Federal and provincial public health leaders have recommended that all travellers from outside of Canada 

self-isolate for 14 days. These efforts will contribute to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada.
The following travel  guidance is provided by the Federal Government: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html?topic=tilelink#f

Question 2:
My child’s school system is closed, and I don’t have childcare. What do I do?


Answer:
Employees should notify their employer as soon as possible.
The government of Canada has made provisions for parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures, and are unable to earn employment income.
Announcement from March 25

Question 3:
I am working from home. Please provide tips on how to effectively work from home.


Answer:
Unsurprisingly, there are more people working from home than ever before. If you're new to working remotely, these tips can certainly help you stay productive and maintain balance.

Set Up a Schedule & Maintain Regular Hours: 

  • Setting a schedule and sticking to it will help your production and maintain a healthy work-life balance. We all love the flexibility of working from home but try to keep a schedule that separates work and life.

Create a Morning Routine: 

  • A routine can be very powerful in starting the day off right. Rolling out of bed and going straight to your workstation will only cause you to disrupt your workflow more than usual. Get cleaned up, dressed and start the coffee machine before you even look at your desk.

Include Scheduled Breaks Into your Day: 

  • Getting up and for a walk is an excellent way to keep your energy levels high for the latter part of the day. Staring at a screen for 8 hours straight will kill your production. Also, don't forget to eat!

Keep a Dedicated Office Space:

  • In a perfect world, remote employees would have a dedicated office but for some that's not always the case. Try your best to set up your workstation in a light traffic zone. Distractions at home come easy so try to get ahead of them.

Check in Constantly: 

  • This might be the most important tip we have. Over-Communication: update your team frequently and keep everyone on the same page. When everyone’s working remotely, it’s very easy to end up trapped in your own world. Use tech like video communication tools to keep out of isolation.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - COVID -19

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