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A Further Update on COVID-19 – Recent Updates to the COVID-19 Screening Tool, CEWS and CERS – March 12, 2021

March 12, 2021
by Israel Foulon LLP

Screening Requirements

The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health has published an updated Screening Tool for employers to follow before employees, or essential visitors, are permitted to enter the workplace each day.

At a minimum, the following questions should be used to screen individuals for COVID-19 daily:

  1. Do you have new or worsening symptoms or signs related to COVID-19?  Symptoms should not be chronic or related to other known causes or conditions. (see the list of symptoms in the link below)
  2. Has a doctor, healthcare provider or public health unit informed you that you should currently be staying at home or self isolating?
  3. In the last 14 days has a public health unit indicated that you have come into close contact with someone who currently has COVID-19?
  4. In the last 14 days have you received a COVID Alert exposure notification on your cell phone?
  5. In the last 14 days have you or anyone you live with travelled outside of Canada?
  6. Is anyone you live with currently experiencing any new COVID-19 symptoms and/or waiting for test results after experiencing symptoms?

If an employee or essential visitor answers “yes” to any of these questions, they should not be permitted to enter the workplace.

You can access the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Screening Tool and obtain further information HERE.

CEWS and CERS Proposed Changes for Claims Periods 14 – 16

On March 3, 2021, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, announced proposed details for the claim periods running from March 14 to June 5, 2021. If passed the current rates would remain in place:

Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

  • The maximum wage subsidy rate for active employees would remain at 75 per cent.
  • In the upcoming claim periods, eligible business owners must be able to show a decline in revenue to a time prior to March 2020 – for claim period 14, businesses can provide evidence to indicate a decline in eligible revenue for March 2021, over March 2019.
  • The maximum subsidy amount for employees on leave with pay would remain at $595.00 per week.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

  • The maximum rent subsidy rate would remain at 65 per cent up to a maximum of $75,000 per claim period. Applications for claim period 6 open on Sunday March 14, 2021.
  • Eligible businesses must show a decline in revenue and there is no minimum revenue loss required to apply. The rate of your revenue loss will dictate the amount received over the claim period. 
  • Lockdown Support would remain at 25 per cent and continue to be provided in addition to the rent subsidy, providing eligible hard hit businesses with rent support of up to 90 per cent, including eligible property owners with tenants not at arms-length. 

You can review the Department of Finance’s full press release HERE.

We’ve Been Nominated!

We are thrilled to announce that we’ve been nominated for a 2021 Reader’s Choice Award by Canadian HR Reporter in the Category of Employment and Labour Law Boutique. We hope that you’ll consider voting for us. You can vote by clicking the link HERE.

Israel Foulon Wong’s Response to COVID-19

Israel Foulon Wong is assessing the situation as it evolves, and is taking all necessary precautions within its workplace. To slow the spread of COVID-19 and for the health of our team and clients, absent extraordinary circumstances we are working remotely until further notice whenever possible. However, please be aware that our offices remain open and are fully functioning. In the circumstances, we encourage our clients to contact us by phone and email to the extent possible. Voicemail messages left at our office phone numbers are immediately forwarded via email. All messages will be promptly responded to. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our clients and would be more than happy to assist you with concerns regarding COVID-19 or any other employment or labour matters.

Legal Disclaimer

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice, which in all circumstances must be tailored to the specific facts of any problem. You should obtain a proper legal consultation in order to determine how this article applies to your specific situation. Please feel free to contact Israel Foulon LLP to learn more at 416-640-1550.