EMPLOYER BULLETIN – COVID-19

Our goal at Ottawa Employment Hub is to help you find the information you need to manage your workforce during these unprecedented times.

For up-to-date information on this fast-moving situation, connect with our Employer Help Desk or consult some of the following sites for valuable resources.

As of May 25th, Ottawa Public Health posted the following guidance regarding face masks“If you are going to a public place, Ottawa Public Health asks residents to consider wearing a cloth mask, as they may offer some additional protection to those around you where physical distancing is challenging”

If you or one of your employees have symptoms of COVID-19 or reason to believe you might be ill, please consult Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 page. Find sector-specific guidelines and posters to help protect workers, customers and the general public from coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ontario. The federal government has also prepared several resources.

RESOURCES

General business advice

As the Ontario Government begins to allow the opening of some businesses, they have released sector specific guidelines and posters to help protect workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19. Ottawa Public Health, have made available information on preventing COVID – 19 in the workplace for business owners and operators, which includes a Business Reopening Toolkit to prepare for safe reopening for employees, customers and the community.

The Business Resilience Service (BSR) is a free program being offered through a partnership between the Government of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and others for four weeks from May 25th, connecting SMEs and not-for-profits with experienced business advisors to provide:

  • Guidance on COVID-19 financial support program options and eligibility
  • Direction on accessing the most appropriate support organizations
  • Help to make decisions to support recovery plans
  • Real time insights and feedback to policymakers

 

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has created a Business and Employee Supports Page with the latest COVID-19 resources for your business.

The Ottawa Board of Trade is also collating COVID-19 Guidance and Resources.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has prepared an FAQ addressing many common questions.

The Human Resources Professionals Association has created a page with information on key HR considerations such as keeping teams engaged, rights of employees, leave entitlements, and policies to maintain a healthy, safe, and productive workforce.

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is offering templates and tools to assist with business continuity.

Our partner, the Ottawa Board of Trade, wants to know what challenges businesses are facing due to COVID-19. This will assist them in creating resources for you and sharing the most relevant information with government officials. Thank you in advance for your input. Take the survey here.

Workforce adjustments and financial assistance

As more Federal Financial Relief Programs are being introduced and extended, a Government of Canada web-based tool has been released to help all Canadians find any financial programs applicable to their individual and business circumstances.

Visit the Government of Canadas website for information on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), and subsidies for hiring youth, among other reliefs.

Information on the Employment Insurance program for employers can be found at EI – Information for employers. Please contact the Employer Contact Centre to obtain information on the Record of Employment (ROE).

On April 30th, Service Canada announced the implementation of Ontario Region’s Virtual Labour Market Partners Liaison Service (VLMPLS), offered via a Regional General Delivery (GD) Mailbox as an additional point of access.

This GD mailbox offers a virtual channel for employers, unions and associations to submit questions, points for clarification, or expressed interest in assistance with ESDC / Service Canada programs and services, as well as a request for a dedicated call back. The service standard for response is one business day. Enquiries should be submitted to the following GD Mailbox address: ESDC.ON.CSE-ECC.ON.EDSC@servicecanada.gc.ca.

Additional points of contact and helplines for various COVID programs can be found here.

Workplace training (remote training and webinars)

There continue to be more free virtual events on business issues related to the current COVID-19 situation and the new world of work to come.

A selection of Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) free webinars offered include topics related to COVID-19 and HR Talent.

Ottawa Business Journal runs a regular series of virtual events on “Coping with COVID-19”.

Ottawa Board of Trade (OBOT) –  is offering a regular series of complimentary webinars, including “Wellness Wednesdays”, designed to support you in our current economy and beyond. Led by local business leaders and subject matter experts.

Invest Ottawa has also moved its calendar of free workshops and events online.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety is offering courses around pandemic planning, mental health, office ergonomics, and telework/telecommuting.

Morneau Shepell has created several free webinars for employees, leaders, and individuals about COVID-19 and related topics.

Ottawa Public Library provides free access to Lynda.com with over 4,000 video courses from top experts, for learning technology, creative and business skills.

Working remotely effectively

Invest Ottawa shared this power point presentation on strategies for success when working from home.

Versature offers these 8 Tips for Productive Remote Work.

CTV news posted an article, Eight Essential Tips for Working from Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic, exploring related issues as well as offering useful advise.

Harvard Business Review has prepared an article addressing some common questions about remote work and how to manage your (newly) remote workers.

Forbes has tips and tricks on how to ensure productivity while working remotely.

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security’s website contains useful advice and considerations for those with employees who will be working from home.

Support for employees

The federal government’s COVID-19 page includes information on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, changes to employment insurance, the increase in Canada Child Benefit payments, and other changes. If employees have lost income as a result of COVID-19, they may be eligible for compensation through the federal government.  Below are direct links to Employment Insurance program information for employees:

 

Service Canada’s Benefit Finder is a tool to obtain information on a customized list of federal, provincial and territorial programs and services.

A professor at Carleton University and former political staffer has created a ‘plain English’ guide to help those trying to access government COVID-19 benefits.

This Financial Post article offers some guidance on employee rights and common questions.

While many employers are cutting positions, some industries and employers are hiring. For assistance in seeking work, people can contact Employment Ontario and other Employment Service Providers in the local community – see our Job Search page under our Job Seeker Toolkit. They can also keep an eye on our Supported Job Postings for the latest opportunities.

Our Employer Help Desk is here to answer your questions and connect you to the right resources to manage and build your workforce. 

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