March 23, 2020
During the COVID-19 pandemic we will be providing daily updates to our members with concise, relevant information they need for their businesses, employees and personal health.
For more frequent updates please follow us on Twitter @WCANews.
For past editions of these bulletins please visit the News section on our website.
If you have any questions about the pandemic, please email our COVID-19 hotline at email@example.com.
While we had provided a list of best practices to deal with COVD-19 last week, the situation is changing extremely fast. The Construction Safety Association of Manitoba has compiled an easy-to-read, two-page document outlining proactive steps that you can take on the job site to protect your workers and your business. Click here to read it.
Some highlights to keep in mind:
Practice social distancing whenever possible by making sure workers are at least two metres (six feet) apart at all times.
TIP: If possible, mark "X"s on the ground at a space of two metres to give workers a visual aid to determine how far apart they should be.
Follow proper hygiene practices (washing hands thoroughly for 20 seconds, not sharing tools, regularly clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces)
Limit the number of people in site orientations and meetings.
TIP: Hold any necessary orientations and meetings outdoors in a large open space when possible.
For the full list, which we highly recommend, reading, follow this link.
Last week, the Province of Manitoba enacted the Emergency Measures Act, declaring a state of emergency in the province.
This gives the province powers they don't normally have, including the ability to take over personal or private property or to prohibit people from leaving their homes.
Premier Brian Pallister made clear that the province was using this measure in order to make sure they are prepared to move quickly while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The province also banned public gatherings of more than 50 people at the same time.
So - what does that mean for your business?
While public gatherings of more than 50 people have been banned by the province, it's important to note that this does not apply to private industry at this time.
Private businesses such as factories - and yes, construction sites - are still legally allowed to be operational even if they have more than 50 people in the workplace.
That said - it's important for businesses to do their part to engage in social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please ensure you follow CSAM's published best practices on your job sites to ensure the health of your employees and all Manitobans.
We do know that many of our members have begun allowing office staff to work from home (and we have to). Here are a few resources from LinkedIn to help smooth the transition to employees working remotely.
Shared Health has reached out to us asking if our member are able to provide any spare N95 respirators. These respirators are key for health care staff to fight the spread of COVID-19 - if you have any to spare, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will coordinate getting them to the front lines.
The City of Winnipeg has reached out to us with the following update on permits:
Additional measures have been put in place to support digital permit application submission.
Commercial and Housing Building Permit Applications can now be submitted online/email to be reviewed electronically. When issued, a PDF permit will be emailed with a link to a ZIP file to download approved supporting documentation.
Details are available online at:
The House of Commons is meeting tomorrow in an emergency sitting to pass the aspects of its financial aid program which require legislation, including changes to employment benefits for Canadians who are out of work.
While we expect more details on those programs to be available after tomorrow's special sitting, we did get more information on the Payroll Subsidy Tax today. To apply for the subsidy:
1. Determine if you are eligible (click here to find out)
2. Manually calculate the value of the subsidy (10% of salaries paid between March 18 and June 20) up to a maximum of $25K ($1375 per employee)
3. The subsidy is realized as a reduction in the remittances for Federal or Provincial Income tax. You can start reducing remittances of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax in the first remittance period that includes remuneration paid between March 18, 2020, and June 20, 2020.
More information is available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/frequently-asked-questions-wage-subsidy-small-businesses.html
To view our full report on Government of Canada support programs, click here.
We'll be here for our members through every step of this pandemic. If you have any questions or concerns, please email our dedicated COVID-19 hotline at email@example.com. If we don't have the answer you're looking for, we'll use our industry contacts and knowledge to find it for you.