SOP for COVID
|Maintaining a viable business during
this worldwide pandemic is proving
to be a challenge for everyone.
Thanks to Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.
|Please remember to support
your CAM Supplier Members when
making your purchasing decisions.
Here are one CAM member's standard operating procedures currently in use during the pandemic. You may find them helpful.
Guidelines for Export Moves
Advice for Import Clients
Guidelines for Crews
CAM COVID Survey - May 2020 results
CAM surveyed members a few weeks ago to see how everyone was
doing, business-wise, during the first two months of the pandemic.
Here are the full results from the 90 members who responded.
Minister Garneau announces new measure for the use of face coverings in the Canadian transportation sector.
Minister Marc Garneau announced on June 3 that a set of practices will soon be established for the use of personal protective equipment, including face coverings, in order to protect truck drivers and their passengers. These practices have not been established yet. CAM is reaching out to Transport Canada to try and gain clarification on moving crews requirements. Read more here
Côte-St-Luc First Canadian City to make mandatory mask usage
Montréal suburb, Côte-St-Luc is the first Canadian city to make mask usage mandatory in stores and public buildings. The bylaw was approved on June 1st and "lapses" will be allowed until July 1st. Best stock up on masks as other municipalities across the country are keeping their eye on the results of this bylaw and you don't want to be caught short this summer. You can read more on this bylaw here.
Dollies and Boxes Unlimited is now offering PPE
Dollies and Boxes Unlimited is now offering Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). You will find some of the most effective and sought-after physical distancing supplies your business needs on a daily basis. (May 2020)
After COVID-19, Office Space Will Never Be the Same
Government-mandated closures have left many companies paying for space they can’t occupy and uncertain about what the future holds. As closure orders begin to lift, companies are deciding how to go back—and whether to go back at all. Here's a U.S. article on a return to the work setting that was written for associations, but the content may very well apply to a moving company's own situation. (Centre for Association Leadership, May 20, 2020)
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
Applications for the federal government’s Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses are now open.
The rent relief program, which was announced mid-April, is meant to help lower rent for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) affected by COVID-19. CECRA will allow SMBs to pay just 25 percent of their monthly rent, with governments and property owners absorbing the other 75 percent.
The program offers unsecured, forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners in order to allow them to reduce rent and help them meet operating expenses on commercial properties. Property owners are required to offer a minimum of a 75 percent rent reduction for the months of April, May, and June.
The CECRA is available for small business tenants that have been impacted by COVID-19 and are paying less than $50,000 per month in gross rent, with annual revenues of less than $20 million. The tenants must have experienced at least a 70 percent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues.
Trudeau hinted that the government is working on a rent relief program for larger companies, with details set to be shared “soon.”
The CECRA requires landlords and property owners to opt into the loan program, which has led to concerns about how the program is being administered. SMBs have pointed to the urgent need for such rent support, as fear of eviction and businesses closures has been growing. For more information on the CECRA, click here.
*A reminder for business owners* - the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) can help you pay your rent on time. The wage subsidy, which is being extended through to August 31st, can help you rehire your workers.
Expansion of the Canada Emergency Business Account
Prime Minister Trudeau announced the expansion of the eligibility of the CEBA. If you are the sole owner/operator of a business, if your business relies on contractors, or if you have a family-owned business and pay your employees through dividends, you will now qualify for the CEBA. Details will be available soon as to when this will be available. We'll post it here!
Canada Emergency Student Benefit
The government announced on April 22, 2020 the Canada Emergency Student Benefit for students who are either working (with income of less than $1,000 per month) or are not working. Each applicant will receive $1,250 per month from May to August. The CESB is for post-secondary students, those who are going to college in September, or those who graduated in December 2019. Payments will be retroactive to May 1st. Our members rely heavily on student help during the summer. It’s still unclear when (and if) our summer crush of moves will happen. It’s nice to know that your student labour will have some support even if they are able to be hired at this time. Please let your returning students know of this benefit. More information will be available through the Canada Revenue Agency website after the CESB once it's approved by government and passed into law. And remember, the Federal Government has announced temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs Program allowing employers who hire summer students to apply for a subsidy of up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial hourly minimum wage.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) - extended to August 31, 2020
On May 15th, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that CEWS will be extended until the end of August. As well, he has confirmed that they will be reviewing the 30% revenue decline threshold for eligibility as "meeting a decline shouldn't be a barrier to growth." If you haven't already applied for CEWS, you can fill out an application through this link.
As a Canadian employer whose business has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020. This wage subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, help prevent further job losses, and better position you to resume normal operations following the crisis. The government announced that the wage subsidy calculator is now available online. Employers are able to go online and calculate the amount of subsidy that they can expect to claim. There will be a maximum of $847 per week for qualifying small companies to keep their employees on the payroll. All of the information about the CEWS program is available here.
Canada Summer Jobs Funding - extended
The Prime Minister announced on April 8th that companies that did not meet the original Canada Summer Jobs funding deadline of February 28 are now able to apply for funding. He added that Ottawa will prolong the program until February, 2021, to reflect the fact many summer jobs will be delayed. Under the revised program, employers will be able to receive a subsidy worth as much as the minimum wage in their respective province. Because many businesses have had to scale back their operations, they will be able to hire a student part time The government is predicting the creation of up to 70,000 jobs for Canadians between the ages of 15 and 30, at a cost of $263-million. Note: the new application process is not open just yet. We will post the link when it becomes available.
*update* Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) extended 8 weeks until end of summer.
Starting April 6, 2020, if you haven’t already applied for EI, you will be able to apply for the CERB. You cannot apply for the CERB if you are going to be receiving the wage subsidy through your employer. We strongly suggest that you get direct deposit for your benefit in case mail delivery gets halted. Again, the CERB is $2,000 a month (taxable income) for 4 months and your application will be quickly reviewed every 4 weeks with a quick questionnaire as to whether you are working or not. Here's where you can find information about the benefit ou en français.
Update: If you haven't found work, or it just isn't possible to work, you will continue to get CERB. It is unclear (on June 16th announcement) if you make under $1,000 if you can continue to 'top up' with CERB.
Workers: If you work for a company that has been impacted by COVID-19, the government will cover up to 75% of your salary on the first $58,700 that you earn. That means up to $847 a week. This will be backdated to March 15, 2020.
A message from Prime Minister Trudeau: I want to offer a word of caution. We are trusting you to do the right thing. If you have the means to pay the remaining 25% that is not covered by the subsidy, please do so. And if you think you can’t take advantage of or gain … don’t. There will be serious consequences for those who do. This unprecedented situation calls for unprecedented action and it calls for good faith and trust between everyone involved. For this to work everyone has to do their part. Every dollar of this should go to workers. You should make every effort to top up their wages and every effort to hire back those workers who have been laid off in the past two weeks because of COVID-19.”
Here are the highlights of a CTV interview with Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment and Workforce Development:
CERB is for Canadians who are NOT working, not those who are working with reduced hours.
CERB is the consolidation of two previously announced benefit packages for non-EI eligible participants and those who are eligible for EI sickness and EI regular benefits.
The current EI system was not built for a pandemic situation such as that we are experiencing. A program and portal must be built to handle the sheer amount of requests forthcoming.
If you’re a worker and have had $5,000 worth of income in the last year and you are a resident of Canada, you qualify. And if you cease to work, you qualify (whether you are self-employed, a contractor, a small business, a worker, on furlough, been laid off).
Effective as of March 15, 2020.
If you haven’t been working, you will get paid as of March 15, 2020.
Anyone who has applied for EI and their application hasn’t been processed yet, will be processed as of March 15th and will be funneled into the CERB.
4-week terms - $500 a week for 4 weeks. You don’t need to reapply after 4 weeks. In 4 weeks, you will be asked if you are still not working. If your answer is “yes”, you will get the benefit for 4 more weeks.
If you are EI eligible right now, apply for EI now. As soon as the system is up (beginning of April) within days you will get a cheque (because it will be fully automated).
CERB is taxable.
On March 27, Prime Minister Trudeau announced two small to medium business initiatives that will help qualifying businesses. Details will be available in a few days. It is currently not available online (at 11:30 am). We will post the information when it becomes available.
1. The salary subsidy will increase from 10% to 75% backdated to Sunday, March 15, 2020 in hopes that you will rehire your staff.
2. $40,000 loans that will be guaranteed to the government through the Canada Emergency Business Account. This loan will be interest free for the first year and for those who meet certain conditions, $10,000 of that will be forgivable.
How to Apply for EI During COVID-19
Here is some useful information on how to apply for employment insurance benefits during COVID-19 that was provided to CAM by an HR specialist.
Tax Payments and Filing Deferred
Individuals now have until June 1, 2020 to get their taxes filing done. If you owe money, you will have until August 31, 2020 to pay. Need to know more? Click here. Businesses can defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as installments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. For more information, click here.
Relief for Small Business Owners
New relief packages for businesses are being finalized and will be available in early April. For more information, click here
Practical Operations Advice
Transport Canada Employment Confirmation
On April 9th, Transport Canada posted a template letter it developed in concert with industry to identify those employed in the commercial motor vehicle and automotive industry in a critical service capacity. The letter can be downloaded and personalized by a moving company. A printed copy would be kept in the truck cab with the other move documentation and presented as needed during the transport of the household goods. A similar letter officially signed by CAM and for the sole use of CAM members only is available in the member's only area of CAM's website.
Small Business Accounting Assistance
Prime Minister Trudeau announced on May 25th that the Federal Government has teamed up with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to provide accounting and financial advising services to small businesses. If you'd like to talk to someone to get assistance to understand and manage this year's tax filing changes, or financial restructuring, amongst other things, contact 1-866-989-1080.
Transport Canada offers truck drivers tips on masks, cleaning practices, and more
Here's some new information from Transport Canada to guide truck drivers on how to identify and use personal protective equipment (PPE) in the fight against COVID-19.
How to keep truck cabs clean in the fight against COVID-19
Here is some helpful advice on how to keep your truck cabs clean in the pandemic.
Although this is workplace safety information for British Columbia, you may find this of interest. Check with your local health authorities to see if there is similar documentation for your province.
Health Canada Labour Program Hazard Alert: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) – Temporary changes related to COVID-19
During the COVID-19 outbreak, a shortage is possible for some chemical products that are effective in removing the virus on work surfaces. In order to address the possible shortage, Health Canada has put in place an interim policy that will allow quicker imports of products from the U.S. This could result in differences in normal labelling or pictograms etc. Employers are encouraged to address any supplementary training which may be needed. Although the labels might not meet Health Canada standards, the information employers need must be available on suppliers'/importers' websites. Here's Health Canada's hazard alert.
CFIB Answers COVID-19 Questions
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is posting up-to-date information on the government relief measures and providing answers to common questions related to COVID-19 as it affects businesses. Here's the CFIB's latest COVID-19 newsletter.
Managing Temporary Lay-offs
Our industry is known historically for temporary lay-offs of staff. We’ve attached an article that may be of interest to you in regard to the extraordinary circumstances with COVID-19. We feel it is important to have open dialogue with your employees about the situation and make sure that they understand that you have every intention of hiring them back when the work ramps up again. Remind your employees that the COVAID package the government is rolling out (soon) is there to help them. We stress that you check your provincial employment standards act to confirm your actions. READ MORE.
Managing Cash Flow in a Crisis
Our friends at Deloitte have forwarded us this article with tips on how to manage cash flow during a crisis. While it may not all affect you, there certainly is some great information to consider as we plan for the next six months of viability.
Sharing insights and lessons learned from Deloitte’s Governance Practice in China and beyond
With apocalyptic news about the COVID-19 coming around seemingly every corner this week, the implications for business and the economy are profound. This short article, while aimed at Board of Directors, can easily be considered by your management team within your moving operation. Thanks for our friends at Deloitte for providing this succinct information.
Take action to ensure your moving company survives
We are no stranger to the concept of COVID-19 by now. However, it remains impossible to comprehend that we, the international moving industry, must brace ourselves for many months without revenue. I suppose, the only comfort is knowing that we're not alone. READ MORE.
CAM Member Firemen Movers Inc. shared their new protocols for standard operating procedures in light of the COVID-19 outbreak on all of their moves and customer contact as of Monday, March 16th. FMI are sharing their protocols with their clients to inform them on what they can expect to see in advance of the moves. We’d like to thank Board Member Lorne Babiuk for sharing this with us. While circumstances will be different for each moving company, we consider this a very proactive approach to protecting both staff and the public.
Suggested Hand Washing Kit for Truck Crews
Firemen Movers have also informed us that hand washing kits have been set up today for each of their trucks in case items can't be supplied at the moving sites. The kit includes:
- one roll of paper towel
- 10 micro fiber towels
- one pump container of hand soap
- one bar of hand soap.
Don't Be a Deer in the Headlights
Mark Oakeshott, a friend to our Association, has some measured and calm words with regards to the current crisis. Thanks to Mark for the wise words!
Don’t be a “deer in the headlights” during this crisis:
- Reduce your overhead and fixed costs in incremental phases;
- Take the blinkers off – you are a “transport company” – not just a moving company;
- If you owe money, communicate and establish a payment plan;
- Report outstanding invoices to FIDI, LACMA and IAM within the required time period to seek some protection;
- Use the time to look at cloud-based technologies that will drive future efficiency;
- Prepare for the rebound.
Come back stronger and leaner! #movers (Click here for Mark's LinkedIn post.)
Planning for Disruption During COVID-19
During an infectious disease outbreak, issues may come up about how to keep you company operational, and at the same time, how to protect your workers from the effects of illness. Your workplace likely will be affected by staff absenteeism, shortages of supplies, and decreased numbers of customers. Get prepared and READ MORE.
Common Commercial Coverages During COVID-19
Businesses may be wondering about potential coverage for losses related to COVID-19. Here is a general guide of how common commercial coverages may respond in the event of a claim related to COVID-19. Thanks to CAM member NFP Canada for providing this general information. If you have questions about your coverage or a potential claim, contact to your own insurance service-provider.