Frequently Asked Questions
- Determine if your business is eligible for reopening.
- Review and implement required measures by Public Health and WorkSafeNB.
- Develop an operational plan to document how you are going to implement these requirements.
- Display COVID-19 awareness information in your workplaces and public access points.
- Continue to stay informed and follow the latest guidance and directives
The most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to ensure employees and customers practise physical distancing. This requires maintaining at least two metres of separation between employees, customers and visitors. WorkSafeNB has published a guide that can assist with strategies to accomplish this, or to adequately respond when this is not possible.
Businesses can also refer to the Guidance Document of General Public Health Measures during COVID-19 Recovery. The Guidance Document includes checklists for pre-screening, physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting.
- Consider the installation of a physical barrier, if possible, such as a clear plastic guard, that may be used to protect workers from potential exposure.
- Rather than adopting a passive screening tool, actively screen employees and customers for symptoms and risks of COVID-19.
- Require employees to wear non-medical fabric face coverings when travel is required, or employees may be in close quarters.
- Visitor and employee logs are required to be kept for access points and rooms where physical distancing is not possible. In time, electronic records or control tracing applications may be available to help with this contact record keeping.
Employers and businesses must have a documented plan that specifically addresses COVID-19. While your documented plan doesn’t need to be approved by WorkSafeNB or Public Health, it needs to be available at any time. You could be asked for it by either regulatory body.
WorkSafeNB has developed a template to assist in the development of an operational plan. This template helps guide employers through some of the key areas to consider when assessing the risk surrounding the safe opening and continued operations of workplaces. Review the “Embracing the New Normal as We Safely Return to Work – Guidelines for New Brunswick workplaces re-opening in a COVID-19 environment”.
No. While your documented plan doesn’t need to be approved by WorkSafeNB or Public Health, it needs to be available at any time. You could be asked for it by either regulatory body.
Yes, operators must develop a COVID-19 Operational Plan outlining how daily operations will be managed to meet the additional measures outlined in this document (e.g., physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting, hand and respiratory hygiene, pre-screening for symptoms). The plan must explain procedures on how the operator is able to adapt to these requirements.
Your work place will likely experience operational changes – ‘business as usual’ will not occur at this stage. It is the responsibility of each business to ensure they have an Operational Plan in place that outlines how they will manage the safe opening and operation of their business/service/organization.
The best prevention controls in a workplace are achieved by first focusing on physical distancing and taking every reasonable step to restructure physical setting and responsibilities to increase space between people.
Once you have exhausted all reasonable options, before looking to PPE as a solution, WorkSafeNB recommends to first look to “engineering controls” namely isolating people from hazards, then administrative controls, namely changing the way people work, and finally as a least effective measure, personal protective equipment
On March 24, the Government of New Brunswick announced assistance to support New Brunswick businesses. The assistance will support our economy, help keep our workers employed, and enable businesses to continue to operate. The assistance is complimentary to existing federal and partner institution support and is targeted to specifically address impacts associated with COVID-19. The province will continue to monitor economic impacts and respond proactively to the needs our businesses and our employers. What we are doing:
Waiving late penalties on property taxes:
- Though business property taxes must be paid by May 31, late penalties will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to see if the penalty can be waived due to undue financial challenges, such as having to close a business due to COVID-19.
Deferring interest and principal payments on existing loans:
- As an immediate measure, and on a case-by-case basis – the Government of New Brunswick will defer loan and interest repayments for up to six months on existing provincial loans.
- This support will enable businesses to have immediate relief if they are experiencing difficulties as a result of COVID-19.
- This assistance is available, on a case-by-case basis, to any business that has a loan with an existing Government of New Brunswick department. The deferral can be requested by contacting the department that issued the loan.
Support for small business
- To support our small businesses, the Government of New Brunswick will provide working capital to support small businesses. Loans will help companies respond to challenges associated with COVID-19.
- Loans will be up to $100,000.
- Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB) will work with a trusted partner to administer the application process.
- More details will be available on application process in the coming days.
Injecting needed working capital for mid-to-large employers:
- Opportunities New Brunswick will make available support mid-to-large sized employers.
- ONB will also provide – upon request – working capital in excess of $100,000 to help large employers manage the impacts of COVID-19 on their operations.
- Large employers will be able to apply for this assistance directly from Opportunities New Brunswick.
WorkSafeNB has announced assessment premiums related to employer payrolls for March, April and May will be deferred for three months without interest charges.
The Government of Canada announced action to help Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Support for businesses include temporary wage subsidies to prevent lay-offs, flexibility for tax filings, and increases to credit available to small, medium and large Canadian businesses. More information is online.
To avoid layoffs:
To access credit:
- Establishing a Business Credit Availability Program
- Lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer
- Cutting the interest rate
Supporting financial liquidity:
Canada’s regional development agencies, including the Atlantic Opportunities Agency, have also announced support is available for small or medium-sized businesses impacted by the sudden shifts in the economy. Businesses can contact ACOA at 1-800-561-4030.
WorkSafeNB has announced assessment premiums related to employer payrolls for March, April and May will be deferred for three months without interest charges. More information is available online
Businesses who require support with Business Financing/Liquidity can also reach out Finance Canada at 1-613-369-3710, or email email@example.com.
Businesses can contact:
- Export Development Canada general line: 1-800-229-0575.
- Business Development Bank of Canada general line: 1-877-232-2269; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The available information on financial assistance provided through the Federal Government’s Economic Package can be found here
A business continuity plan outlines procedures and instructions an organization can follow in the event of an emergency. Planning ahead enables you to be proactive and consider how your business will respond.A number of guides are available including:
Today’s business climate allows many companies to be globally connected – this means that current events and issues happening around the world could have a direct impact on operations in Canada.The Government of Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service has a network of over 1,000 experts in 160 cities worldwide who help Canadian businesses trade, grow, and succeed. Trade commissioners can provide you with market-specific insights andguidance to help you mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.LINKS:
Companies and organizations across Canada are working to prepare and support business owners and entrepreneurs to help mitigate risks posed by COVID-19.For additional information and resources, be sure to check out the links below:
Canadian Chamber of Commerce:
Canadian Federation of Independent Business:
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
No, COVID-19 is an unforeseen event and therefore employers would not be expected to provide notice.