Where can I access information about employment insurance and roles and responsibilities of employers?
Information about employment insurance, labour programs for federally-regulated workplaces, work sharing programs, etc. are available online.
Do I have to provide two weeks of notice before a lay off during COVID-19?
No, COVID-19 is an unforeseen event and therefore employers would not be expected to provide notice.
How do I apply for EI as a business owner?
Details on Employment Insurance as it relates to Coronavirus are available here.You will find the information on how business owners will be supported here.
What financial assistance is available?
The available information on financial assistance provided through the Federal Government’s Economic Package can be found here
What can employers do to maintain safe workspaces?
To help reduce the spread of communicable diseases and viruses including COVID-19, workplaces should have an infection prevention and control plan, which may include:
- Encouraging employees to NOT go to work if they are feeling unwell (e.g., coughing, sneezing, fever, runny nose, etc.).
- Reviewing sick-leave policies to encourage employees to stay home when ill to reduce transmission to other coworkers and clients.
- Providing clean handwashing facilities and alcohol-based hand sanitizers in multiple locations throughout the building (e.g., entrances, boardrooms, break rooms, etc.).
- Using social distancing techniques to conduct as much business as possible, including telephone/video conferencing as well as allowing employees to work from home or work flexible hours to avoid peak public transportation times or crowding in the workplace.
What if the Business Location is across the United States border?
An exemption to the request to self-isolate for 14 days should be provided to workers who are essential to the movement of goods and people. For example, this exemption would apply to:
- healthy workers in the trade and transportation sector who are important for the movement of goods and people across the border, such as truck drivers and crew on any plane, train or marine vessel crossing the border;
- healthy people who must cross the border to go to work, including health care providers and critical infrastructure workers;
- and New Brunswick residents who cross the US border daily to attend work.
- Workers in these sectors should practice social distancing (maintain a distance of 2 metres from others), closely self-monitor, and self-isolate should they exhibit any symptoms and immediately call Tele-care 8-1-1 for advice.
- Workers who need to travel to work in the United States, should travel directly to their place of employment and then back to their home in New Brunswick. It is recommended that employers in these sectors conduct active daily monitoring of their staff for COVID-19 symptoms (i.e. checking for cough, fever, or shortness of breath).
- Workers are advised to avoid older people and those with a weakened immune system or underlying medical condition(s) who are at a higher risk of developing severe disease.
What support will the federal and provincial government have for businesses impacted by Coronavirus?
The Government of New Brunswick’s top priority is the health and safety of the public, which will safeguard our economy and ensure critical public services are maintained. The business community has a role to play in supporting that effort, by making choices to keep your employees and customers safe, while also ensuring that services the public relies on are available. As the current situation evolves, and further stabilizes, the Government of New Brunswick will be providing information about recovery supports for businesses.
The Government of Canada also announced that it will be taking the following measures to support both employers and employees:
- Waiving the one-week waiting period for people who are in quarantine or have been directed to self-isolate and are claiming Employment Insurance sickness benefits. Information on eligibility criteria and the application process can be found here.
- Enhancements to the Work-Sharing Program to help employers who are experiencing a downturn in business due to COVID-19, and their workers. Information on the Work-Sharing Program can be found here.
What guidance is available about closing venues and events?
New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has provided guidance to community organizations and event planners about mass gatherings.
What is a Business Continuity Plan and where can I get help creating one?
A business continuity plan outlines procedures and instructions an organization can follow in the event of an emergency. Planning ahead enables you to be proactive and consider how your business will respond.A number of guides are available including:
What about impacts on trade - how can I access supports related to exports?
Today’s business climate allows many companies to be globally connected – this means that current events and issues happening around the world could have a direct impact on operations in Canada.The Government of Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service has a network of over 1,000 experts in 160 cities worldwide who help Canadian businesses trade, grow, and succeed. Trade commissioners can provide you with market-specific insights andguidance to help you mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.LINKS:
I’m looking for Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) to fill current vacancies. What are my next steps?
Information on hiring a temporary foreign worker is available on the federal government's website.
What financial assistance is available to help employers?
The Government of Canada announced action to help Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Support for businesses include temporary wage subsidies to prevent lay-offs, flexibility for tax filings, and increases to credit available to small, medium and large Canadian businesses. More information is online.
To avoid layoffs:
To access credit:
Supporting financial liquidity:
Canada’s regional development agencies, including the Atlantic Opportunities Agency, have also announced support is available for small or medium-sized businesses impacted by the sudden shifts in the economy. Businesses can contact ACOA at 1-800-561-4030.
WorkSafeNB has announced assessment premiums related to employer payrolls for March, April and May will be deferred for three months without interest charges. More information is available online
Businesses who require support with Business Financing/Liquidity can also reach out Finance Canada at 1-613-369-3710, or email email@example.com.
Businesses can contact:
- Export Development Canada general line: 1-800-229-0575.
- Business Development Bank of Canada general line: 1-877-232-2269; firstname.lastname@example.org.
What guidance is available for workers and employers regarding the right to refuse to work during a pandemic?
Workers have the right to refuse to work under certain circumstances. For guidance on any issues related to refusal to work, please contact WorkSafeNB at 1-800-999-9775 or visit https://www.worksafenb.ca/contact/