CPHR BC & Yukon would like to provide the HR and the business community with the following information on COVID-19 resources. While this page will be updated regularly, the latest Provincial and Federal updates can be found by visiting Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) and the BC Government News.
Latest Update on COVID-19 Restrictions: As of March 11, 2022, B.C.’s mask requirment order has been repealed along with eased restrictions. Please visit WorkSafe BC’s announcement to learn more about the updates.
BC Restart Plan
BC Restart Plan is a carefully designed 4-phased plan to reduce the impacts of COVID-19. The movement between phases is based on scientific knowledge about COVID-19 and the effectiveness of intervention measures in British Columbia and other provinces.
The latest update on vaccination coverage is available on the COVID-19 Vaccination in Canada page of the Government of Canada website.
To stop the spread of COVID-19, provincial restrictions have been put together by the Provincial Health Order (PHO) under the Public Health Act. As the guidelines for ensuring safety are updated frequently please visit the provincial and regional restrictions page of the Government of BC website for the most up-to-date guidance.
To ensure a safe workplace please refer to the WorkSafe BC’s Information for employers page.
For the updates on the latest PHO please click here.
Employers have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of workers when they are working from home. The WorkSafe BC resources below provide tips and best practices for setting up a safe and ergonomic home workspace.
- Working from home: A guide to keeping your workers healthy and safe
- Setting up, organizing, and working comfortably in your home workspace
COVID-19 Safety and Communicable Disease Plans
Employees may ask for more details about the safety precautions and considerations in the workplace. For this, employers may need to refer to COVID-19 and Communicable Disease page of WorkSafeBC.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supply hub provides information for organizations that require PPE for themselves and their employees. For more information and updates please visit Organizations buying and selling personal protective equipment during COVID-19: Buyers.
WorkSafe BC provides a guide for workers and additional resources to cater to managing mental health effects of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Proof of Vaccination
Proof of vaccination is no longer required to access businesses, events, and services in B.C.
Starting April 8, proof of vaccination is no longer required to access businesses, events, and services in B.C. Please visit WorkSafe BC’s site for FAQs on COVID-19 Vaccination in the workplace.
It is very important to recognize that the pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of all. Please visit Wellness Together Canada’s site for resources to support the mental wellbeing of employees. The BC Center for Disease Control also provides links and resources to address mental health during Covid-19.
COVID-19 Government Programs and Supports
Here are the programs and supports that are run by the government.
COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant
Businesses such as bars, nightclubs, gyms, that were ordered to be closed fully on December 22, 2021, and event venues that cannot hold events can apply for the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant. The BC government News site reports that this is a $10 million provincial program and it complements the existing federal government programs, the recently expanded Local Lockdown Program, and the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit.
To access economic recovery and financial benefits for your business, industry, non-profit organization, or community group from the federal and provincial governments, please refer to Economic support for businesses, non-profits and community groups.
Extension of the Loan forgiveness Repayment Deadline for Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
The spread of the Omicron variant has delayed the recovery process for businesses affected by COVID-19. The CEBA program provided interest-free partially forgivable loans to many small businesses and non-profit organizations to help them survive the pandemic. Presently the government has extended the deadlines for CEBA loans to be eligible for partial loan forgiveness from December 31, 2022, to December 31, 2023. More information is available on the Government of Canada.
Recovery Programs for Businesses and Organizations
Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) provides up to 75% wage subsidy to eligible businesses and organizations operating in the tourism, hospitality, recreation and entertainment, and arts sectors.
Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP) provides wage subsidies up to 50% to eligible businesses that do not qualify for the THRP or Local Lockdown Program.
Support Programs for Employers, Self-employed, and Employees
Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) provides support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. This benefit’s proposed extension was till May 7, 2022.
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19 or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. The CRSB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This benefit’s proposed extension was till May 7, 2022.
Work Sharing Program is an agreement that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in the normal level of business activity, and the decrease is beyond the control of the employer. This is effective March 15, 2022, and, extended to September 24, 2022.
Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) provides eligible employers with a subsidy of up to 50% of incremental remuneration paid to eligible active employees between June 6, 2021, and November 20, 2021. Proposed extension until May 7, 2022.
Employment Insurance Information for Employers during COVID-19 provides guidance to employers to issue Record of Employment (ROE) for the employee during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To obtain more information about resources for business, employees, and self-employed individuals, financial support, loans, and access to credit- please visit Managing your business during COVID-19 page of Government of Canada.
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF): The application period for the RRRF is now closed.
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA): For all eligible borrowers in good standing, the repayment deadline for CEBA loans to qualify for partial loan forgiveness has been extended to December 31, 2023.
BC Recovery Benefit (BCRB): The BCRB is closed. Applications received before July 1, 2021, will be reviewed, and processed.
To learn more about the financial support for people, businesses and organizations- please visit COVID-19 Economic Response Plan page of the Government of Canada.
Other Programs and Supports by the Provincial and Federal Government
Support for Indigenous Peoples
Please visit theCoronavirus (COVID-19) and Indigenous communities page of the Government of Canada website for details of support for First Nations and Inuit communities in preparing for, monitoring, and responding to COVID-19.
Support for People with Disabilities
The Government of BC has measures in place for adults with disabilities, youth and children with disabilities, their families, and low-income seniors. Please visit the Government of BC’s COVID-19 support for People with Disabilities page.
Support for Women Entrepreneurs
An additional $15 million in funding has been announced by the Government of Canada to support women entrepreneurs through Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). This funding will go to select organizations that are under the WES Ecosystem Fund to support women entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Support for Black Entrepreneurs
The Government of Canada is working to address long-standing, systemic barriers, which have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with its first-ever Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP). The Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, a component of BEP, is now an investment of $291.3 million to support the success of Black entrepreneurs and business owners.
DISCLAIMER: The materials in this guidance are provided for general information purposes and do not constitute legal or other professional advice. While the information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances may impact the accuracy and validity of the information. The CPHR is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for any action or decision taken as a result of using the guidance. You should consult a professional adviser for legal or other advice where appropriate.