NDCC June 2020 Newsletter


Temporary layoff provisions for workers, employers extended

Following conversations with business and worker representatives, the Province of British Columbia has extended the temporary layoffs provisions to a maximum of 24 weeks expiring on Aug. 30, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The extension will give employers and workers additional flexibility to support economic recovery in the province with the expectation that businesses honour their obligations to workers and reach agreement with their employees in the event a further extension is required.

“This extension will provide even more certainty and flexibility,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “This will also give additional time to ensure that employers and workers are able to craft agreements if there is a need to further extend temporary layoffs, while still protecting workers’ rights to compensation for length of service.

.“We heard loud and clear from employers that they need this extension,” Bains said. “We also know it is important to ensure that workers know that they have to be involved in the agreement with the employer to extend the temporary layoff and have a right to decline the layoff and accept the compensation for length of service which they are entitled to.”

The Chamber applauds the move,following some persistent lobbying. It didn’t look like it was going to go through and that could have been devastating for many businesses.  Thank you to Premier Horgan and the BC government for acting on the BC Chamber network and other business associations’ request to further extend the temporary layoff provision in the Employment Standards Act to August 30th.

Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tom Thomson  echoes the feelings of the BC Chamber network that extending the temporary lay-off provision will save countless businesses from going bankrupt if they had to pay out severance to their employees who have been temporarily laid off due to COVID-19.

In the majority of cases, we know employers want to bring back their teams – but they just need more time. By extending this timeframe again, the provincial government is giving business more time to get back on their feet and open their business’ doors again. By providing this breathing room, the provincial government is helping to get more British Columbians back to work.

The ability for businesses and employees to maintain their connection will help our province drive greater prosperity in the long run and accelerate us along the path to recovery.

Local chambers shared with the BC Chamber that the temporary layoff provision was top of mind for their members’ and we made sure the provincial government knew that. See the compelling results of our most recent BCMindReader.com survey on this issue.

Thanks to all businesses that have opened with safe protocols …It’s not easy but we appreciate it!

There has been a tremendous response to the Think Local First-Open for Business campaign, with literally hundreds of posters in Nelson and Area and throughout the region.

We want to thank everyone—for the excellent job you have done to both protect the public , follow Worksafe protocols and find innovative ways to sell your products and services.

It is starting to get busy in downtown Nelson and throughout the area, Remember we have done a great job in our community and it is important to continue to be diligent in our  open for business protocols through the summer.  Its great that we have our patios out, eating and drinking at our local favourite restaurant, pub, craft brewery. Lets show everyone how we can have a great summer and stay safe at the same time.

Expanded CEBA Now Partially Available

After a week’s delay, the expanded Canada Emergency Business Account loan program is now available; however, only if you bank with one of Canada’s six largest banks. The CEBA expansion will be available from more lenders over the coming weeks. To apply for a CEBA contact your primary financial institution.

The Government of Canada launched CEBA to ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need to see them through the current challenges, and better position them to quickly return to providing services to their communities and creating employment.

This $55 billion program, implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC), provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits.

Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).

The expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) is now open for applications. This means that more small businesses can access it.

As of June 26, 2020, businesses eligible for CEBA now include owner-operated small businesses that do not have a payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll. Applicants will have to demonstrate having eligible non-deferrable expenses between Cdn.$40,000 and Cdn.$1,500,000 in 2020.

The expanded CEBA is being made available gradually by more than 230 financial institutions across the country, starting with the larger banks.  Other participating financial institutions will start offering the program over the coming weeks.

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