As we navigate through this extraordinary situation together, the Atlantic Business Federation remains committed to providing you with all the relevant information and resources on government assistance programs as they become available. We understand that these are challenging times, and we would like to do all that we can to help our clients and members. Due to the fluid nature of the situation, the data provided in this email may become quickly outdated, but stay tuned to the various websites below to keep up with the newly added programs to protect the financial well-being of Canadians and the economy.
The two critical links from the Government of Canada you should bookmark are:
We recognize that this is an uncertain point in time for businesses and that many organizations have been negatively impacted. To ensure that you are aware of the programs and assistance available to you, please see below for some of the Federal programs that are currently being offered to employers specifically:
1) EI - Employment Insurance
https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html; Visit the EI sickness benefits page to apply
Please note that there are key differences if you have contracted the virus and are in quarantine. To understand how different scenarios are treated, please read everything thoroughly. Contact the following numbers only if the above quarantine condition applies.
· Telephone: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)
· Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-529-3742
2) Work-Sharing (WS) Program - Adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the average level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. Special measures have been taken to extend agreements from 38 weeks to 76 weeks across Canada for those affected in the forestry, steel and aluminum sector.
The link above covers details on special protocol around waiting periods, length of coverage and eligibility
For information on the application process visit: Applicant guide for the temporary special measures
Submit using the following methods:
Western Canada and Territories
3) Additional links for the government’s economic plans:
Canada‘s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
EDC stands ready to support Canadian exporters impacted by COVID-19
The Government of Canada is taking exceptional measures to minimize the impact of the current situation on Canadians and are continuing to work diligently to find solutions. Atlantic Business Federation is committed to doing its part as well and will continue to update you as we learn more. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for more information or any concerns. Stay safe and healthy.
Atlantic Business Federation
1 844 940 5927
As part of the provincial response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Government has announced a new Emergency Contingency Fund as an initial step to help support Island businesses.
Please call the toll-free support line 1-866-222-1751 between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Staff on the phone lines are collecting contact information from businesses and noting their concerns to help begin the development of program supports from the contingency fund.
We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls, but want to assure Islanders we are working to address this demand and ask for your patience as we increase supports for this phone line.
Get Accurate Information
The situation with COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. Find accurate, up-to-date information, including when to seek help :
If the workplace is covered by a collective agreement, employers may consult with their collective agreement and discuss the matter with the union if there is some question on the interpretation of any of the leave and pay provisions.
Is an employer expected to lay their employee off during the 14 day quarantine period so they can access employment insurance (EI) benefits?There's no requirement for employers to terminate or lay off employees under the Employment Standards Act to create EI eligibility.
What are the ramifications if an employer does not pay their staff during this time?From the employer's perspective, under the Employment Standards Act there would be no ramifications, unless they are laying staff off or terminating staff.
Does the 14 day quarantine count as sick leave?Yes, under Government of Canada employment insurance rules.
Do companies have the right to impose their own policies related to employee leave during this time?Yes, so long as the policies are in compliance with the Employment Standards Act and other legislation (e.g. human rights or Occupational Health and Safety) and advice or directives from public health.
Does a business owner have the right to remove someone from their establishment who is not following public health’s recommendations? (e.g. not practicing social distancing) Yes, employers have the obligation to take every reasonable precaution to protect the occupational health and safety of persons at or near the workplace – see Occupational Health and Safety Act, s.12(1).
This involves assessing the risks of the workplace and taking appropriate action to either eliminate or, if that is not possible, to minimize those risks.
If an employer determines that someone is posing an undue risk to the health and safety of individuals in the workplace, they are obligated to address the risk. This could involve refusing to provide services to a person engaged in the risky behavior or providing adequate protection to their workers.
How does social distancing work for employees to customer? (e.g. someone working a checkout) Some jobs do not allow for the elimination of risks associated with social distance.
For example, cashiers may be required to work within the recommended two (2) metre distance. In these cases, the employer is responsible for providing personal protective equipment to minimize the risk, such as gloves if exchanging money, and adequate hygiene practices for people, spaces and equipment.
Are there any additional steps business owners should be taking to protect their employee’s health, as well as their own health? All employers and workers should follow the preventative guidelines set out by the Chief Public Health Office.
Where possible, employers should look into work from home options, social distancing workstations within the workplace and limiting face-to-face meetings with employees and clients to only that which is essential.
Are there any extra precautions for businesses in high-risk areas such as pharmacies? As with any place of employment, employers must assess the risks of their workplace and take appropriate action to either eliminate or minimize those risks. Businesses that provide health care services, such as pharmacies and clinics should review their protocols for reducing the risk of transmission or exposure to ensure that risks are minimized.
Employment Insurance Telephone Information Service
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) –
Employment and Social Development Canada
EI Sickness Claims Online:
The Employment Insurance Telephone Information Service is an automated telephone service that provides recorded general information on the Employment Insurance program. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To obtain information on your claim, you must speak with an Employment Insurance representative.
You can complete the following tasks by telephone:
The hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time, Monday to Friday.
We provide group benefits and services to PEI Business & their valued employees.