By now you may feel overwhelmed by all the information coming at us 24/7 about the COVID-19 pandemic. Undoubtedly it is important to stay up-to-date with latest developments and information about the public response to combating the spread of the coronavirus. At the same time however, you may be experiencing rising anxiety as there is no escape from the volume and 24/7 coverage. The truth is, it is very hard not to be concerned, worried and even panicked, given that the virus is a global life disruptor like nothing we have seen before in our lifetimes.
In a massive effort to contain the virus, schools, daycare centres and workplaces across several sectors have been closed. Some workers can continue to work remotely, but for some, the type of industry or work they do mean remote work is not possible. For millions of others across the country — such as those whose work involve providing essential services like health-care, transportation, goods and services, construction, utility and emergency workers — they remain on the job to maintain critical services.
At a time like this it is critical to be informed. You may have many questions. What happens if I lose my job? What happens if I have no income coming in and can’t pay my bills, my rent and my mortgage? What happens if my kids, myself or a family member gets the virus? Staying informed allows us to be knowledgeable about supports being put in place to help us cope and lessen the impact of the crisis.
PLC has compiled the following list of websites that will help keep you informed and updated on the latest information about how the various levels of government are responding to the crisis:
1. If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.
2. The Ontario government is offering direct financial support to parents while Ontario schools and child care centres remain closed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The new Support for Families initiative offers a one-time payment of $200 per child 0 to 12 years of age, and $250 for those 0 to 21 years of age with special needs.
https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-government-supports-families-in-response-to-covid-19.htmlCOVID-19 Residential Relief Fund (CRRF)
To help protect some of Ontario’s most vulnerable people, the province is providing $40 million specifically to support residential service providers through the COVID-19 Residential Relief Fund (CRRF).
3. Region of Peel is offering resources, services and programs to effectively support residents of Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga during COVID-19.
4. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
To help employers keep and return workers to their payroll through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would provide a 75-per-cent wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks retroactive to March 15, 2020.
5. Work Sharing Program – Work-Sharing (WS) is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. The program provides Employment Insurance (EI) benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers. Work-Sharing is an agreement between employers, employees and the Government of Canada.
The Program allows employers to:
- Retain qualified and experienced workers, and
- Avoid recruiting and training new employees
The Program allows employees to:
- Keep their jobs, and
- Maintain their work skills
You can also access the full list on PLC’s website at http://www.peelleadershipcentre.org/
We may be looking at several weeks or a few months of physical distancing measures and being encouraged to stay home, but when the intensity of the crisis lessens, will we emerge with any new perspectives or lessons learned as a result of our experience? If you come across any support resources, please share with us. We would love to hear from you.
Please take care and stay safe.
Your remotely working PLC Team