News Article

April 1 COVID-19 Update

April 2, 2020

COVID-19 Update - April 1

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 a list of industry resources, government programs, FAQs and more, visit our dedicated COVD-19 website at

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


Federal wage subsidy details

On Wednesday afternoon the federal government announced some much anticipated details on its 75% wage subsidy (known as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy). Here's the new information we have:

  • Eligible businesses will have to prove their revenue has dropped by at least 30%. This 30% drop will be on a monthly basis compared to the same month in 2019. E.g: March 2019 revenues vs March 2020 revenues.
  • Companies will have to apply for the subsidy each month (March, April and May - the subsidy is for three months).
  • Businesses will have to attest they are doing everything the can do to top off the last 25%.
  • Applications will be done through an online CRA portal, which will open soon.
  • Money is expected to start flowing in approximately 6 weeks.
  • Companies who attempt to take advantage of the system will be strongly punished 

This new information goes with the previous details we had on the program:

  • All businesses, regardless of size, that have lost 30% of their revenue are eligible

  • The subsidy will cover 75% of the first $58,700 of a employees salaries

  • This gives up to $847 a week per employee
  • The subsidy is back-dated to March 15
  • Non-profit organizations and charities do qualify for this

  • The assessment of the 30% revenue drop will happen after the fact. If the drop wasn’t that high, the company will need to repay the subsidy

  • The subsidy will come in the form of a direct payment to the company, who then pays employees

The Prime Minister was adamant that every dollar of this benefit should go to workers, and also mentioned that businesses should make every effort to top up the final 25% of wages and recall any workers they have laid-off already.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced during his daily news conference this morning the following updates on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit:

  • Applications for the CERB will begin on April 6
  • If you've already applied for EI, there's no need to re-apply. You'll automatically be switched over to the CERB
  • To keep receiving the CERB, you'll need to prove you are still not receiving an income once a month
  • Employees who are being paid through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy are not also eligible for the CERB - it's one or the other
  • Direct deposit payments for CERB will take 3-5 days. If you choose to receive a cheque, that should take 10 days.


CSAM Working in Occupied Spaces Guidelines

Over the past couple of weeks we've heard from a number of members who were concerned about performing work in an occupied space during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To address these concerns, the Construction Safety Association of Manitoba has developed a resource titled "Guidance for performing work in occupied spaces amid COVID-19. The document goes through several likely scenarios, gives you questions to ask clients, and offers solutions to common problems.

You can read or download the full document here.

After Work Protocols

The Manitoba Building Trades and Construction Labour Relations Association of Manitoba have developed a resource outlining COVID Safety and Prevention Measures. We wanted to take a moment to highlight a specific section we thought would be valuable to our members, on After Work Protocol:

The measures taken at work are designed to keep you safe at work. But safety protocols continue after you finish work. The additional measures detailed below will help keep you and your family safe. After you finish work, make the following steps a daily habit:

• Remove your washable PPE items and place them in a bag. These should be washed as soon as you get home;

• Non-washable PPE equipment such as boots, hardhats and safety glasses should be sanitized and placed in a bag or away from other items that may be contaminated;

• Any single use PPE items such as masks must be discarded safely and not reused or left where others may handle them or have to discard them;

• Once you have removed and packed your PPE, sanitize your hands one last time before leaving work;

• Upon arriving home, leave your safety boots outside the home or in your vehicle;

• Any items you packed for washing along with your clothing worn during the day should go straight in to the washing machine;

• Finish your day with a shower before settling in to spend time with other occupants of your home;

• Wear clean clothes each day and repeat the same procedure after work; and

• If you drive your personal vehicle to work, take a moment to wipe down commonly touched surfaces at least once a day.