In efforts to make applications easier for you and your team, our team put together a quick guide on everything you need to know about provincial COVID-19 response for BC, Alterta and Ontario.
Province-specific updates regarding government programs in response to COVID-19/
In efforts to make applications easier for you and your team, our team put together a quick guide on everything you need to know about provincial COVID-19 response.
The COVID-19 response programs in Ontario.
- On March 25, 2020, the Ontario government announced relief measures to help support Ontario businesses when they need it most. These include increasing the Employer Health Tax exemption for 2020 from $490,000 to $1 million and a five‑month relief period for Ontario businesses who are unable to file or remit their provincial taxes on time due to the special circumstances caused by the coronavirus (COVID‑19) in Ontario.
- Penalties and interest will be waived automatically for all late returns or remittances by Ontario businesses during the relief period.
- Tax filing and remittance deadlines will remain the same. However, beginning April 1, 2020, penalties and interest will not apply to Ontario businesses that miss any filing or remittance deadline under select provincial taxes. This will continue for a period of five months.
- All employers covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the provisions of the relief package and can defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. They will not be required to opt in to receive this benefit.
- Additionally, the WSIB will cease interest accrual on all outstanding premium payments. They will not charge penalties during this six-month deferral period. There will be no negative consequences for businesses who defer premium reporting and payments. The WSIB will continue to fully cover workers at eligible workplaces.
- Toronto – Utility Bill (Water/Sewer Service and Solid Waste Management charges where applicable)Approximately 30,000 utility bills are issued to business and residential properties each week. Utility bills are usually due approximately 21 days after the billing date. The City is extending the due date for all utility bills issued by an additional 60 days, to give utility customers an additional 60 days to make payment to take advantage of the early payment discount.
- Time-of-use (TOU) pricing will pay 10.1 ¢/kWh no matter what time of day the electricity is consumed.
- The Government has indicated that it intends to keep the 10.1 ¢/kWh pricing in place for 45 days.
How Push can help:
- If Push is currently remitting EHT or WSIB on your behalf, please expect an email from our payments team.
- If you do not have funds, please let them know and they will not remit until further notice. However, you will need to remit the deferred amounts at a later time.
The COVID-19 response programs in Alberta.
WCB Premium Payment Deferral
- Small, medium and large private sector employers can defer WCB premium payments until 2021.
- For small and medium businesses, the government will cover 50% of the 2020 premium when it is due in 2021 – saving businesses $350 million.Large employers will have their 2020 WCB premium payments deferred until 2021, at which time their premiums will be due.Employers who have already paid WCB premiums in 2020 are eligible for a rebate or credit.
Changes to the Employment Standards Code will allow full and part-time employees to take 14 days of job-protected leave if they are:
- required to self-isolate
- caring for a child or dependent adult that is required to self-isolate
To be eligible, employees:
- will not be required to have a medical note
- do not need to have worked for an employer for 90 days
This leave covers the 14-day self-isolation period recommended by Alberta’s chief medical officer. This leave may be extended if the advice of the chief medical officer changes.The leave does not apply to self-employed individuals or contractors.
90 days, starting March 18, 2020 and will run through June 18, 2020 for residential, farm, and small commercial customers, who are unable to pay their bill when due.
The COVID-19 response programs in British Columbia.
Utility Payment Deferral
Customers can defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty through the COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program
- Customers experiencing job loss, illness or lost wages due to COVID-19 can access grants up to $600 to pay their hydro bills through the Customer Crisis Fund
An employee can take unpaid, job-protected leave related to COVID-19 if they’re unable to work for any of the following reasons:
- They have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are following the instructions of a medical health officer or the advice of a doctor or nurse
- They are in quarantine or self-isolation and are acting in accordance with an order of the provincial health officer, an order made under the Quarantine Act (Canada), guidelines from the BC Centre for Disease Control or guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Canada
- Their employer has directed them not to work due to concern about their exposure to others
- They need to provide care to their minor child or a dependent adult who is their child or former foster child for a reason related to COVID-19, including a school, daycare or similar facility closure
- They are outside of BC and unable to return to work due to travel or border restrictions
The COVID-19 leave is retroactive to January 27, 2020 and once it is no longer needed, this leave will be removed from the Employment Standards Act.
COVID-19 BC emergency benefit for workers.
The BC Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a one-time $1,000 payment to people who lost income because of COVID-19.
- B.C. residents who receive federal Employment Insurance, or the new federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit are eligible
- Applications for the one-time payment will open soon
- The one-time payment will be paid in May 2020
- Unclear how this will affect EI application at the time.
Disclaimer: This is guide is provided by Push Technologies Inc. (“Push Operations”) for information purposes only. This is not an official or legal document and should not be taken as legal advice. Push Operations does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please check with the proper governing authority.