Novel Coronavirus COVID-19
 

Information for Businesses, Workplaces and Employees

NEW Last updated: April 2, 2020

Public health orders were issued on March 30th and come into effect at 12:01 a.m. on April 1. Please visit the State of Emergency page to see if these orders affect your business or workplace.


Keeping Employees Safe

Employers are urged to direct employees to use good hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes washing your hands frequently, practising good cough and sneeze hygiene, and staying home when they are sick.

Under The Workplace Safety and Health Act, workers have the right to refuse work that they reasonably believe constitutes a danger to their safety and health, or that of another person should they perform the task. There is a legal process that work refusals must follow. This PDF offers a summary of the standard process. However, workplaces with collective agreements in place may have additional steps or requirements.

COVID-19 spreads through close contact, which is why social distancing of two meters is recommended. If anyone, including an employee, is diagnosed with COVID-19, Public Health officials will trace who has been in close contact with that individual and will inform them directly. If you are at risk of having contracted the virus from a colleague, Public Health will let you know.


 

NEW Last updated: April 2, 2020

Call to Action for Manufacturers

If you are a Manitoban manufacturer or business that is prepared to rapidly scale up production or re-tool your manufacturing lines to develop products made in Manitoba to help in the fight against COVID-19, please complete the submission form.

Call to Action for Suppliers/Distributors

If you are a Manitoba Supplier/Distributor with inventory or established channels to products to help in the fight against COVID-19, please complete the submission form.



To help reduce the spread of communicable diseases and viruses, including COVID-19, workplaces should have an infection prevention and control plan, which may include:

  • encouraging employees to NOT come to work if they are feeling unwell (e.g., coughing, sneezing, fever or runny nose)
  • reviewing sick-leave policies to encourage employees to stay home when ill, to reduce transmission to other coworkers and clients
  • reviewing requirements for medical (sick) notes, to reduce burden on the health care system and additional exposure to ill individuals
  • ensuring emergency contact information is current for all employees, in case communication be required in a timely manner
  • providing clean handwashing facilities and alcohol-based hand cleansers in multiple locations throughout the building (e.g., entrances, boardrooms and break rooms).
  • posting signage in the workplace, encouraging proper cough etiquette and hand hygiene (provincial posters are available in multiple languages at: https://sharedhealthmb.ca/health-providers/coronavirus-resources/
  • regularly cleaning workstations and objects with disinfectants that are touched frequently, such as doorknobs, handles, elevator buttons and railings. This includes regularly disinfecting electronic devices (e.g., phones, tablets, laptops) with an alcohol (70 per cent) wipe. Workplaces are encouraged to increase the frequency of cleaning workstations and worksites to at least two times per day.
  • providing boxes of tissues and encouraging their use
  • reminding staff to avoid sharing cups, glasses, dishes or cutlery, and ensuring cups, glasses, dishes, and cutlery are thoroughly cleaned using soap and warm water after each use, or placed in the dishwasher for cleaning
  • following safe food handling procedures
  • removing magazines, papers and other objects that cannot be cleaned from common rooms, such as cafeterias, kitchens, break rooms and waiting areas
  • ensuring ventilation systems are working properly, including opening windows as weather permits
  • using social distancing techniques to conduct as much business as possible, including telephone and video conferencing, as well as allowing employees to work from home or work flexible hours to avoid peak public transportation times or crowding in the workplace
  • encouraging employees who are required to report for work in-person (e.g., health care workers, service industry employees), to take public transit during non-peak times as much as possible to get to work. Alternatively, support employees as much as possible to use a personal vehicle to get to work
  • identifying an area that an employee can self-isolate and develop a plan, should they become ill while at work
  • avoid sharing office equipment or supplies, including electronic devices (e.g., phones, tablets, laptops)
  • encouraging cashless transactions in service industry workplaces

To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, do not make determinations of risk for COVID-19 based on race or country of origin. And be sure to maintain confidentiality, should an employee be confirmed to have COVID-19 or other communicable illness.

Some individuals may have been exposed to COVID-19 through direct contact with an ill person or in their recent travels, and are therefore self-isolating and monitoring themselves for symptoms for up to 14 days (see the Self-Isolation Factsheet for more information). Contact your local public health office if your employer requires an exclusion letter from work. Any questions about pay and benefits should be discussed with your employer.




Before contacting the Manitoba Labour Board, please review the following information:
However, please note that the below is only intended to serve as a guide, and for general information only.  

If you are not represented by a union and have questions regarding layoffs, termination and group terminations, visit the Manitoba Employment Standards Branch website or contact by phone at 204-945-3352. You can also consult their Fact Sheet on Termination of Employment.

If you are not represented by a union and have questions regarding job-protected leave visit the Manitoba Employment Standards Branch website or contact by phone at 204-945-3352.

If you are represented by a union, please consult your collective agreement, or contact your union.

To answer your questions regarding long-term leave for serious injury or illness, visit the Manitoba Employment Standards Branch website or contact by phone at 204-945-3352.  You may also consult their Fact Sheet on Long-Term Leave for Serious Injury or Illness.

If you wish to apply for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits or have questions related to EI benefits, please call 1-800-206-7218 or visit their website Employment Insurance benefits.

As of March 27, 2020, The Manitoba government is adding a temporary exception to employment standards regulations to give employers more time to recall employees laid off as a result of COVID-19. This temporary amendment ensures that any period of layoff occurring after March 1, 2020, will not be counted toward the period after which a temporary layoff would become a permanent termination. For further information, please see the news release or contact Employment Standards.

If you have questions regarding your right to refuse work that you reasonably believe constitutes a danger to your safety and health, please call 1-855-957-SAFE (7233) or visit their website Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health (WSH)https://www.gov.mb.ca/labour/safety/.


UPDATED March 27, 2020

Rights and Responsibilities of Employers

Many businesses are currently faced with extremely difficult decisions on how to manage their operations when faced with unprecedented business conditions. Please visit the Employment Standards website for information regarding rights and responsibilities in the workplace.

Public health authorities strongly recommend employers suspend interprovincial business travel.  Exceptions have been made for workers performing essential cross-border functions (eg.: long-haul truckers). Employees who have travelled outside of Canada must self-isolate at home for 14 days upon their return.

Under The Workplace Safety and Health Act, workers have the right to refuse work that they reasonably believe constitutes a danger to their safety and health, or that of another person should they perform the task. There is a legal process that work refusals must follow. This PDF offers a summary of the standard process, however, workplaces with collective agreements in place may have additional steps or requirements.

Tax Filing Deadline Extension

Manitoba has extended the April and May tax filing deadlines until June 22, 2020 for small and medium businesses with monthly RST remittances of no more than $10,000. Additionally, businesses that file on a quarterly basis that have a due date of April 20, 2020 have had the due date extended to June 22, 2020. Please see this bulletin for full details.

Changes to Immigration Services for Your Skilled Workers

International students, skilled workers, and entrepreneurs from all over the world are making Manitoba their new home. Click here for information on federal special measures to help temporary and permanent residents and applicants affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Government of Canada Support to Business

The Government of Canada has introduced support programs for Canadian businesses facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes measures such as waiving the one-week waiting period for new claimants who are applying for EI sickness benefits as a result of being quarantined due to COVID-19, enhancing the work-sharing program to help support employers and workers who are impacted by a downturn in business due to the coronavirus, and making tax payment arrangements more flexible. For more information:

Sector-specific Assistance and Calls to Action

Call to Action for Manitoba Manufacturers

  • If you are a Manitoba manufacturer or business that is prepared to rapidly scale up production or re-tool your manufacturing lines to develop products made in Manitoba to help in the fight against COVID-19, please complete the Manitoba Government’s submission form.

Government of Canada Call to Action for Manufacturers
If you are a Canadian manufacturer or business that is prepared to rapidly scale up production or re-tool your manufacturing lines to develop products made in Canada to help in the fight against COVID-19, please contact the Government of Canada.

Agribusiness
Farm Credit Canada has new supports in place, including loan deferrals and increased lending capacity for producers, agribusinesses and food processors. 

Business Helping Business

Businesses are hardwired for competition but in extraordinary times, relationships can be strengthened by working together.

If you require legal assistance in responding to coronavirus, seek a qualified professional. For assistance in acquiring general legal advice, please visit the Law Society of Manitoba's website.

Supports for the Not-for-Profit Sector

For non-profit arts and cultural organizations who receive funding from government agencies, please visit the following links for updates:

Financial Institutions

Canada’s financial institutions are offering various degrees of support to citizen and business members. Please consult your institution directly.

Manitoba credit union and caisse populaire members are advised to direct any questions about hours, service, and supports to members directly to their individual branches. Contact information for these institutions.

Business Continuity Planning

Tools and information on business continuity planning are available from:

Business Development Bank of Canada


Information by Industry:


Public health officials are strongly advising all Manitobans, including health-care providers, to cancel or postpone any non-essential international travel. In addition, public health officials are recommending all international travellers should self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after returning to Canada.

Work is underway to finalize guidelines for health-care workers and critical infrastructure workers who return from international travel, to address any impacts on essential services. All physicians, health-care providers and support staff returning from international travel, MUST self-identify to their organization's or site's occupational health services.

In addition, Manitoba and Doctors Manitoba have agreed on new payment options to offer virtual visit and virtual care psychotherapy options to supplement traditional models of care, including video-conferencing options. Physicians will work with their patients to use these options.

Additional COVID-19 resources are available at: https://sharedhealthmb.ca/health-providers/coronavirus-resources/


Transportation industry partners need to ensure all companies are made aware of important considerations with respect to essential cross-border crossings. At this time, public health officials are not mandating drivers to self-isolate after crossing the border, to ensure essential services continue.

However, all companies should make sure drivers are not showing respiratory symptoms before crossing the border and take the necessary measures if they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. This includes calling Health-Links Info Santé to speak to a health practitioner and requesting the affected driver to self-isolate until they are assessed.


UPDATED March 30, 2020

Manitoba public health officials have issued public health orders, effective April 1, 2020, to:

  • limit public gatherings to less than 10 people, including places of worship, family events, weddings and funerals;
  • close restaurants and other commercial facilities to eat-in dining. However, restaurants and other commercial facilities can prepare and serve food for delivery or takeout;
  • allow municipal transit services, taxis and other private vehicles for hire to continue to operate;
  • develop a list of critical services that may continue to operate, and require these sites to ensure separation appropriate social distancing between patrons in their facility;
  • and close non-critical businesses and services from April 1 to April 14, such as bars, bingo and gaming centres including casinos, nail and hair salons, wellness centres, such as gyms and fitness centres.

All Manitobans are reminded to maintain a two metre distance between themselves and other members of the public when they are in public places, such as grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants.