COVID -19 Information Changes
As the COVID-19 situation in Canada rapidly changes, there are new announcements and information updates coming daily. Here is a summary of some of the latest information that impacts dealerships across Canada.
The federal government has announced financial relief measures for both small to medium sized businesses and individuals. This includes a wage subsidy of up to 10% to help business remain viable.Most of these relief measures will begin to be visible in April. Precise process steps for many of the relief programs have not been announced. For the most up to date detailed information on the federal aid package, and other federal measures, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html.
From coast to coast, multiple provinces have announced a state of public health emergency. This is different than a state of emergency. A state of public health emergency gives the government the opportunity to use additional powers in the fight against COVID-19. A state of emergency gives the government broad sweeping powers, as an example they would have greater fiscal and mobility restrictions that can be imposed. These jurisdictions currently have public health emergencies or a state of emergency declared: Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Northwest Territories and Yukon.
Canadian auto producers have announced a halt to production, as well as similar announcements coming from the Unites States.
The US/Canadian border has officially closed to any non-essential travel and most airlines have cancelled international flights.
The provincial governments have indicated that the health care systems are starting to be taxed, with increase calls to Public Health lines and growing concerns over whether or not individuals need to be tested. For self assessment tools in your province, please go on-line to the Coronavirus or COVID -19 section of your government website.
Daycare closures, school closures, and limited access to long term care facilities in most jurisdictions may also have an impact on employee attendance and job focus.
The mass gathering restrictions in most jurisdictions have now been defined as no more than 50 people. This includes events, parades, recreation facilities and other similar social events.
What does all this mean for dealerships?
As an increasing number of employees are required to stay home, and more Canadians are choosing to restrict their outings, including making major purchases, our staffing resources are frequently being impacted. This may mean that, as employers, you have an increase in the number of ROEs you are issuing, and a variety of reasons to issue them. In an attempt to expedite the processing of applications, comments are no longer required for COVID 19 related ROEs, simply applying the correct code is sufficient information.
Additionally, ensuring that you are providing employees with clear, accurate and transparent information in order to assist them in making informed decisions on both their health and finances is one of the strongest and easiest ways that you can meet staff needs and your own operational requirements. Where the difficult decision to keep people home, reduce hours or other operational restrictions and government mandates occur, be sure that you are providing employees with appropriate documentation and support.
Our best approach to flattening the curve is still the same. Provide staff with accurate and official information on hygiene best practices, including social distancing, be flexible in work arrangements by allowing staff to work from home where possible, even if it is inconvenient and providing a workplace with proper PPE and regular and thorough cleaning protocols.
If you need further assistance in managing these processes, dealing with unique challenges or understanding strategic preparedness procedures, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help.