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Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and follow recommendations on how to reduce the spread of infection.

Resources

Guidelines have been established for each business sector to ensure employers have the safety information and tools needed to protect workers, customers, and the general public from COVID-19 as they prepare for the gradual reopening of the provincial economy.

The government safety guidelines provide direction to those working in manufacturing, food manufacturing and processing, restaurant and food service, and the agricultural sector. These measures build on more than 60 guidelines developed by Ontario's health and safety associations in response to COVID-19 for various sectors such as retail, health care, construction, transportation, police services, firefighters, and transit employees.

Here is the link for the guidelines: www.ontario.ca/page/resources-prevent-covid-19-workplace

  • As workplaces begin to reopen, it is important that good practices are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To help workplaces operate safely, tip sheets are available for both employers and workers. They cover a range of sectors, including construction, health care, retail and restaurants.

Tip sheets can be found here: https://www.ccohs.ca/products/publications/covid19/

Real-Time Courses Make It Easier for People to Get Essential Qualifications

As the province safely and gradually reopens, the Ontario government is investing $3 million to provide free online health and safety training for the first time. These virtual courses will make it easier for job seekers and workers to get essential qualifications, while practising physical distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Up to 100,000 job seekers can now take free online workplace health and safety training through Employment Ontario. There are 10 courses on offer, which include topics such as infection control, conducting health and safety incident investigations, ladder safety, slips, trips and falls prevention, and preventing workplace violence and harassment. Job seekers should contact an Employment Ontario service provider in their area to enroll.

In addition, worker and employer members of Joint Health and Safety Committees can now use video conferencing to take training in real-time with qualified instructors from training providers approved by Ontario's Chief Prevention Officer. The training includes sessions on how to establish a Health and Safety Committee, resolving health and safety issues, workplace inspections, and accident investigations.

Ontario's Chief Prevention Officer is extending the time for completion of refresher training for more than 8,000 certified committee members whose certification would have expired between February 28 and August 31, 2020. They have until November 30, 2020 to renew their training, which will be easier thanks to new online options.

  • The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply personal protective equipment.

Website Accepting Proposals for Temporarily Changing Rules and Regulations

The Ontario government is launching the COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website to help businesses overcome the unique challenges created by the global pandemic. Businesses working to retool their operations to produce health-related products, or those that want to continue their operations in this new environment of physical distancing, can submit any potential roadblocks to the website. The province is prepared to allow temporary changes to provincial rules and regulations in order to remove any barriers that are hindering business and negatively impacting Ontario's supply chain.

  • Ontario's Guiding Principles to Reopen the Province: Premier and Ministers Commit to New Phased Approach for a Safe Restart and Recovery

Today, the Ontario government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will use to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces. The framework also provides details of an outreach strategy, led by the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, to help inform the restart of the provincial economy.

The government is planning a stage-by-stage approach to reopening the economy to ensure there are appropriate measures in place so workplaces can open safely. Public health officials will carefully monitor each stage for two to four weeks, as they assess the evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak to determine if it is necessary to change course to maintain public health.

  • Stage 1: For businesses that were ordered to close or restrict operations, opening select workplaces that can immediately modify operations to meet public health guidance. Opening some outdoor spaces like parks and allowing for a greater number of individuals to attend some events. Hospitals would also begin to offer some non-urgent and scheduled surgeries, and other health care services.
  • Stage 2: Opening more workplaces, based on risk assessments, which may include some service industries and additional office and retail workplaces. Some larger public gatherings would be allowed, and more outdoor spaces would open.
  • Stage 3: Opening of all workplaces responsibly and further relaxing of restrictions on public gatherings.

Throughout each stage, continued protections for vulnerable populations must be in place, along with the continued practice of physical distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene, and significant mitigation plans to limit health risks.

Other Resources:

View the webinar explaing the Canadian Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) was created to help businesses retain their workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. The application for this subsidy opened on April 27 and managing through the requirements of the application can be complicated. Eligibility requirements, meeting the specific revenue tests, and ensuring your documentation is correct can be complex and cumbersome. Please listen to this webinar as we tackle common questions that have surfaced and discuss CEWS with tax partner John Di Liso at Grant Thornton LLP. During this session John will give an overview of the CEWS program and will also outline some of the key questions raised by taxpayers out of the program.
Discussion to include:
1. Eligibility criteria
2. Qualifying periods
3. Application process
4. Issues and opportunities
5. Frequently asked questions

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unique challenges for businesses and individuals around the world.

    This page will be a source for information, resources and updates to equip employers to face the months ahead. (click the logo)

  • The Trade Commissioner Service website is a good, concise source for information and other excellent links relating to what Canadian businesses need to know in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

https://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/campaign-campagne/ressources-entreprises-COVID-19-business-resources.aspx?lang=eng

Candian Federation of Independant Business

Businesses are encouraged to contact Service Canada at 1-800-622-6232 for more information on additional government support available.