MCA Canada Update on COVID-19
MCA Canada continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and response across Canada so we can best serve our members in these unique times, and we remain committed to providing the tools and resources to help achieve this.
Given the fluidity of the situation, we are also encouraging all stakeholders to visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website on COVID-19 for updates and news as it arises.
*NEW COVID-19 RESOURCE* – COVID-19 QUALIFICATION STATEMENTS FOR BIDS
In his webinar this week for MCA Canada members, Dan Leduc of Norton Rose Fulbright referenced COVID-19 Qualification Statements for Bids, which have been provided below. Click here to view a recording of the webinar.
Please note that these provisions do not constitute legal advice, and are being provided solely for information purposes.
As well, please note that in some jurisdictions, the use of these clauses may not be acceptable to bidding authorities. If there are any questions on the use of these clauses, we encourage members to seek legal advice.
On March 30, MCAC shared a letter with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlining some concerns for the mechanical contracting sector as it deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Association asked that:
- Provincial and national health authorities work closely with subtrade associations across Canada to help establish and enforce clear health and safety protocols in the context of COVID-19;
- Governments recognize the COVID-19 pandemic as an event outside the control of contractors, and that any delays as a result be regarded as such;
- The federal government support the mechanical contracting sector to ensure financial support for those construction firms affected by the closure of construction sites and any project delays as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. and that,
- Any accountability on the part of the contractor firm for COVID-19-related claims be removed.
UPDATE - APRIL 20 - MCA Canada Releases COVID-19 Guide for Mechanical Contractors
As part of its efforts to support member firms grappling with the unique circumstances the industry is currently facing, the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada has introduced new guidelines to help answer questions related to health and safety and the safe operation of job sites during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This Guidance Document outlines the recommended best practices for mechanical contractors to maintain the health and safety of their workers, and other individuals who may be impacted by their work, while performing their necessary duties during the current SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic.
MCAC President and Chair Dave Holek shared a message with MCAC members as the industry grapples with COVID-19Read The Message from MCAC President and Chair Dave Holek
FAQs for Employers
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
On Friday March 27, the Government of Canada announced a change of the Temporary Wage Subsidy to 75 per cent from the previous announced 10 per cent for up to three months. This comes after calls from the business community to enhance measures to help the business community and their workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
More information on this program is expected to be announced by Monday March 30, as well as what businesses will qualify for the benefit/subsidy.
Other measures include:
- Creating the Canada Emergency Business Account
- Banks will offer $40,000 loans guaranteed by the government to qualifying businesses
- Interest free for the first year
- Providing $12.5 billion more to EDC and BDC for small and medium sized businesses cashflow requirements
- Will allow banks to give guaranteed loans
- Deferring GST and HST payments until June
More information about the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan can be found on the Government of Canada’s website.
If your employees are directly affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and they are no longer working, you must issue a Record of Employment (ROE).
When the employee is sick or quarantined, use code D (Illness or injury) as the reason for separation (block 16 on the ROE). Do not add comments. When the employee is no longer working due to a shortage of work because the business has closed or decreased operations due to coronavirus (COVID-19), use code A (Shortage of work). Do not add comments. When the employee refuses to come to work but is not sick or quarantined, use code E (Quit) or code N (Leave of absence), as appropriate.
Avoid adding comments unless absolutely necessary.
- extend the Work-Sharing agreements by an additional 38 weeks
- wave the mandatory waiting period between agreements
- ease the recovery plan requirements
Access the Work-Sharing page to learn more about the program and its requirements.
Access the Work-Sharing temporary special measures page to find out if you are eligible for temporary special measures.
On March 27, the Government of Canada announced an up to 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll.
More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales, and will be shared before the end of March.
Many of these steps have been shared widely, but should be reiterated to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
1. Wash your hands frequently and diligently with soap and water
2. Avoid touching common surfaces
3. Do not share tools or personal protective equipment
4. Avoiding touching your face, and particularly your eyes, nose and mouth
5. Cough or sneeze into your elbow
6. Do your part to keep common areas clean
7. If you experience symptoms of cold or flu, stay home
MCA Canada National Office Update
Currently, MCA Canada national office team members are working remotely to ensure the health and safety of our employees, members and other visitors to our offices.
Office hours of 8:30-4:30 remain the same, and the MCA Canada team is available via email and their respective office extensions.
MCAC/Construction Education Council Course Offerings
At this time, all MCAC/CEC education courses that were scheduled to be offered in-class have been postponed. Please do not hesitate to contact MCA Canada staff should you have any questions on any previously scheduled courses.
MCA Canada will reevaluate the delivery of in-person courses following directions from federal and provincial health agencies, and make appropriate adjustments based on the most up-to-date information available at that time.
MCA Canada continues to offer e-Learning options, available through BuildForce Canada, which can be purchased online at https://www.mcac.ca/resource-category/elearning/.
Resources for Business
News about COVID-19 and its impact on industry and the economy continues to evolve daily. There are a number of relevant articles and resources, and we are sharing these resources with our members through our Just-The-Fax newsletter, and on our social media channels. As well, if you have specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact MCA Canada.
In the meantime, here are some useful and pertinent resources already available:
- Pandemic Preparedness Guide from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
- Construction Contracts and COVID-19 Bulletin
- Webinar on Coronavirus and Supply Chain Implications in Construction
- COVID-19 and The Workplace – Frequently Asked Questions
- The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has opened up a hotline for their members and non-members to call 1-888-234-2232 and ask for advice on managing COVID-19 in the workplace. Also available is a helpful FAQ page with a good number of resources for small businesses – https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/tools-resources/covid-19-coronavirus-business
- Legal Notes: Could COVID-19 trigger ‘force majeure’ in contracts*
*We are sharing this article information for consideration. MCA Canada recommends that any legal questions concerning COVID-19 be directed to legal counsel for clarification