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March 2020


CCA “Standardized Protocols for All Construction Sites”
Released March 27. National best practices document. IHSA Covid-19 Best Practices for Construction in Ontario
Released March 20. Suggested best practices document. 

OCA 2nd Version March 30 – Sample Protocol for Jobsite Measures
The OCA template is provided as an aid for contractors to develop their own jobsite COVID-19 safety plan. The document is a compilation of best practices that have been shared and requires an employer to adapt to their firm.


Today the Federal government introduced the senate approved emergency aid package called the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The revised package is set at $107BN, up from the originally announced $82BN last week.  It is meant to be simpler, and amends some of the previous announcements on funds available to workers:

The benefit will now provide $2,000 a month for the next four months to workers not getting a pay cheque as a result of COVID-19.

It will cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or home because of school or daycare closures.

It applies to wage earners, contract workers, and self-employed people not otherwise eligible for EI.

CERB also applies to workers who are still employed but not receiving income due to disruptions to their work because of COVID-19. This way businesses can keep employees and be ready to restart operations quickly.

Recipients will receive their money within 10 days of applying. The portal opens the first week of April. If you are already receiving EI, you should not apply for CERB.


Read this new Construction COVID-19 resource, “DEALING with COVID-19” from the Alberta Construction Association. The guide is titled “Pandemic Planning for the Construction Industry”. The 21-page guide by ACA stands out as one of the most comprehensive resources yet developed for construction employers. It can be downloaded directly by clicking on this LINK.


Issuing Employee ROE`s:
ROEs need to be coded with a reason for why they’re being issued:

Use Code A
 — Shortage of Work / End of Contract or Season if
You’ve closed your business or adjusted your workforce as a precaution.

Use Code D — Illness/Injury for:
Actual illness or an employee who has tested positive.
An employee who has travelled and is now self-isolating.

Use Code N
 — Leave of Absence if
The employee is showing no symptoms but is making a personal choice to distance themselves just to be safe.

NOTE: Do not put a note in BOX 18. This “flags” the ROE in the system and may slow processing.


UPDATE ON LAYOFFS – March 17, 2020.  With regards to your employees, the IBEW has revised its hiring hall rules (click here). The process for you, as an employer, is to lay-off your employees so that they can collect EI while we wait for this to blow over. Please pass this information along to your employees as well. Here are the three scenarios:

* For those workers who are in quarantine or who have been directed to self-isolate as a result of the COVID-19, please fill in the ROE as “Medical” and the one-week waiting period will be waived, subject to them calling the EI Hotline at 1-833-381-2725. Please email the name of the employee and job site that was shut down to the IBEW at This will keep them out of the unions “work book.” Note the IBEW is closed to everyone other than staff.

* For those workers who are out of work due to temporary lay-offs and job site closures they will not be eligible for the one-week waiver. Therefore, please fill in the ROE as “Shortage of Work due to Coronavirus”. They will have to wait 1 week for EI to start. Please email the name of the employee and job site that was shut down to the IBEW at Again, this will keep them out of the unions “work book.”

* For those workers who volunteer to self-isolate due to travel, please check off ‘Other” on the ROE and include ‘self-isolated due to travel.’ You can then direct the employee to the EI Hotline at 1-833-381-2725 where they can make their case to have the one-week waiting period waived. Please email the name of the employee and job site that was shut down to the IBEW at Again, this will keep them out of the “work book.”

Please tell your employees that they do not have to sign ‘the book’. The IBEW will track the employees as they’re names and job sites are sent to the IBEW from you, the employer. Once the pandemic is over, the employees will simply return to work after the contractor notifies the IBEW in writing.

Should you have any questions, you can reference this ECA Ottawa website, EI sickness benefits. The online application is available at

Please ensure you read the attached memo from the IBEW. If you have any questions, and due to the overwhelming number of calls due to this virus, it would best to email the ECA Ottawa office,

Some very good and trusted information can be found at . Information can be found via the following link

UPDATE – Trade School

In speaking with Algonquin College, they have suspended all Trade School and intakes for new apprentice until at least April 6, 2020.  All Ministry exams are also suspended until April 6, 2020. When new information is available we will post it for your information.

UPDATE – March 16, 2020

The Federal Government Is Now Asking Travelers returning from Outside Canad to Self Isolate for 14 Days. This article provides some excellent information on the virus, sick leave benefits, EI, and more. To read the article please click here.

Relevant Articles

Hicks Morley (legal Form)
– What Employers Need to Know

Emond Harnden (Labour & Employment Law)
– Background,  Legislation & Obligations For Employers

Hicks Morley (Legal Firm)
– Update on COVID-19 for Employers

Sherrard & Kuzz (LLP)
– FAQ’s to Assist Employers

McKinsey & Company (Management Consulting)
– COVID Briefing Notes & Impact

Canadian Federation of Independent Business
– Keeping You and Your Employees Safe