Statement from We Are Golf About COVID-19

We Are Golf (The National Allied Golf Associations/NAGA) are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our members, golfers, staff, volunteers and industry stakeholders as well as every Canadian in the communities where we live, work and play.

The COVID-19 crisis is an unprecedented and difficult time for Canadians. We Are Golf fully supports the recommendations and guidelines of Health Canada, the World Health Organization and regional public health experts to stop the community spread of the virus. As leaders in an industry that employs more than 300,000 Canadians and includes nearly six million golfers from coast to coast, our priority above all else is the health and safety of our people and our communities.

Where governments have not mandated the temporary closure of golf courses, operators of those facilities should take every health and safety precaution. We Are Golf also advocates for the essential need for golf course property maintenance during any of the temporary closures to be ready for operation while taking every health and safety precaution.

We look forward to better and healthier days and when the time is right for Canadians to return to recreational normalcy, clubs and courses will be ready to welcome golfers back to the tee.

COVID-19 Resources for the British Columbia Golf Industry

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Last Updated: July 22, 2020

On July 21st, the Government of Canada passed updates to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy that significantly change the eligibility and support available for all businesses in Canada. With summer operations in full swing and most courses starting to plan for the off-season, it is a prime opportunity to review the resources available for British Columbia golf industry owners, managers, employees, and industry partners amidst the COVID-19 crisis. The Allied Golf Association of British Columbia (AGA-BC) is pleased to provide the following summary of resources.


GOLF AND TOURISM ASSOCIATION LINKS TO COVID-19 INFORMATION:

British Columbia Golf Updates

Canadian Society of Club Managers

Golf Canada Updates and Resource Page

National Golf Course Owners Association Canada (NGCOA) 

PGA of Canada COVID-19 Member Resource Hub

Tourism Industry Association of BC

Destination BC


GOVERNMENT RESOURCES:

Federal Government of Canada:
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Benefits and Services
COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Government of British Columbia: 
We are in Phase 3 of 4 – British Columbia’s Response to COVID-19

Ministerial Orders Relevant to the Golf Industry:
Ministerial Order of the Provincial Health Officer for Food Service Establishments and Liquor Service – June 19, 2020
Ministerial Order of the Provincial Health Officer for Mass Gatherings – May 22, 2020
Ministerial Order of the Provincial Health Officer for Workplace COVID-19 Safety Plans – May 14, 2020

Provincial Programs, Information, and Support:
BC’s Restart Plan
COVID-19 Supports for Businesses
COVID-19 Action Plan
COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information
Managing COVID 19 Stress, Anxiety and Depression
COVID-19 BC Support App and Self-Assessment Tool – Download on the App, Get it on Google Play or visit the Self-Assessment Website
Share Ideas on BC’s Recovery Plan

WorkSafeBC:
COVID-19 Information and Resources
COVID-19 and Returning to Safe Operations – Phases 2&3
COVID-19 Returning to Safe Operations Frequently Asked Questions
COVID-19 Safety Plan* REQUIRED of every golf course in operation
Exposure Control Plan* REQUIRED of every golf course in operation
Restaurants, Cafes and Pubs: Protocols for Returning to Operations
Retail: Protocols for Returning to Operations
Office: Protocols for Returning to Operations


FOR GOLF INDUSTRY BUSINESS OWNERS:

If you are currently operating:

WorkSafeBC’s Guide to What Employer’s Should Do

WorkSafeBC’s Guide to Preventing Exposure to COVID-19 in the Workplace

Support:

Support for Businesses from the Canadian Government

How to cope with the effects of COVID-19 on your business

COVID-19 Supports for Small Businesses in BC

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (75% Subsidy)

On July 13 the Federal Government announced an extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) through to late December 2020. (Via CBC News)

The CEWS program was also redesigned and additional information about eligibility, payment amounts – Information about the new program details will be available through the government of Canada website in late July: Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Updates and Eligibility

The changes included in the Government’s updated legislation will:

  • Allow the extension of the CEWS until December 19, 2020, including redesigned program details until November 21, 2020. (Application Guide
  • Allow the extension of the CEWS until December 19, 2020, including redesigned program details until November 21, 2020.
    Make the subsidy accessible to a broader range of employers by including employers with a revenue decline of less than 30 percent and providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all qualifying employers. This would help many struggling employers with less than a 30-per-cent revenue loss get support to keep and bring back workers, while also ensuring those who have previously benefited could still qualify, even if their revenues recover and no longer meet the 30 percent revenue decline threshold.
  • Introduce a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25 percent for employers that have been most adversely affected by the pandemic. This would be particularly helpful to employers in industries that are recovering more slowly.
  • Provide certainty to employers that have already made business decisions for July and August by ensuring they would not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have had under the previous rules.
  • Address certain technical issues identified by stakeholders.

How to Apply

    • Eligible employers would be able to apply for CEWS through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal as well as a web-based application.  Employers would have to keep records demonstrating their reduction in arm’s length revenues and remuneration paid to employees. 

Ensuring Compliance

    • Prime Minister Trudeau announced serious consequences for those who abuse the system with his funding announcement. 
    • In order to maintain the integrity of the program and to ensure that it helps Canadians keep their jobs, employers would be required to repay amounts paid under the CEWS if they do not meet the eligibility requirements.  Penalties may apply in cases of fraudulent claims and may include fines and imprisonment.

Canada Emergency Business Account

The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019.

Employment Termination / Lay-Off Resources:

  • https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards/termination
  • Employers must give notice and/or pay to end employment or temporarily lay off employees.
  • The amount of written notice and/or pay is based on how long an employee has been employed.
    • Employed for three months = one week of notice and/or pay
    • Employed for one year = two weeks of notice and/or pay
    • Employed for three or more years = three weeks of notice and/or pay, plus one week of notice/pay for each additional year of employment (to a maximum of eight weeks)
  • Temporary Lay-offs 
    • https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards/termination#laying-off
    • An employee is laid off when they’re given less work or no work – with the plan that the employee will return to a regular work schedule. If an employee’s hours are reduced, they are considered laid off as soon as they earn less than 50 percent of their weekly wages at the regular rate (averaged over the previous eight weeks
    • Temporary layoffs can only be up to 13 weeks in a period of 20 weeks. **However, if the layoff is due to COVID-19 the layoff can be extended to a maximum of 24 weeks, ending on or before August 30th, 2020.
    • They are only considered temporary if the layoff is part of an employment contract or the employee agrees to the layoff.  You must have them sign a voluntary temporary lay-off agreement.
    • You do not have to pay out vacation nor statutory severance.
    • If the temporary layoff is longer than 13 weeks, it becomes a termination of employment. The start of the layoff is the termination date and the employer must give pay for length of service based on this date

Record of Employment:

  • How to Complete the Record of Employment Form
  • 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). 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.

Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plan – EI Top-Up:

Unpaid Job-Protected Leave:

Tax Changes:

  • BC is deferring payments on the Employer Health Tax (EHT), municipal and regional district tax, tobacco tax, motor fuel tax, carbon tax, and PST until the end of September.
  • CRA will allow all businesses to defer the payment of any income tax until September 1, 2020 of amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 1, 2020
  • The province is cutting the school tax by 50% for light- and major-industry property classes, expecting the tax cut to be passed on to business owners with triple-net leases.

Other Initiatives: 


FOR GOLF INDUSTRY EMPLOYEES

Working within the COVID-19 Pandemic:

Financial Assistance:

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit
    • CERB Benefits and Application Overview
    • ** CERB BENEFITS EXTENDED from 16 weeks to 24 weeks for workers who:
      • Stopped working due to COVID-19
      • Are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or
      • Have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits or Employment Insurance fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020.
  • Employment Insurance (EI) Regular Benefits
    • Apply for EI here
    • How much you could receive – We cannot tell you exactly how much you will receive before we process your application. For most people, the basic rate for calculating EI benefits is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount. As of January 1, 2020, the maximum yearly insurable earnings amount is $54,200. This means that you can receive a maximum amount of $573 per week.
  • Working While on EI vs Working on CERB
    • If you work while receiving regular EI benefits and have served your waiting period, you will be able to keep 50 cents of your EI benefits for every dollar you earn, up to 90 percent of the weekly insurable earnings used to calculate your EI benefit amount. This 90 percent amount is called the earnings threshold. If you earn any money above this threshold, we will deduct it dollar for dollar from your benefits.
    • If you are receiving CERB Benefits you may not earn more than $1,000 for a period of at least 14 consecutive days within the initial four week period of your claim or $1,000 in total for each subsequent claim.
    • For either Regular Benefits or CERB, when you work and receive benefits at the same time, you must report your work earnings and hours for each week you work, in the week in which the work occurred.
    • For more information, visit the Working While on Claim and/or CERB FAQ.

Federal Assistance Highlights:

 Provincial Help Highlights:

Additional Assistance:

  • Canada’s big six banks will allow mortgage payment deferrals for up to six months during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • BC Hydro will allow customers to defer bill payments or arrange a payment plan with no penalty.
  • FortisBC is waiving late payment fees and pledging not to disconnect customers for any reason, as well as working with customers to come up with flexible payment plans.
  • ICBC says has an existing policy that allows customers to defer a payment once in their term in times of financial hardship.
  • TD Canada Trust, CIBC, National Bank and Scotiabank are offering relief on credit products on a case-by-case basis, Royal Bank is allowing customers to skip a monthly payment and BMO is allowing a deferral of payment on loans or credit card bills of up to three months.