COVID-19 Resources for the British Columbia Golf Industry

Last Updated: July 25, 2022

The trajectory of the pandemic recovery is moving in the right direction for the BC golf industry; restrictions are being relaxed, and the golf industry is now welcoming international travellers back to BC. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has not fully subsided, so golf operators are still encouraged to keep up to date with the latest regulations and resources so that we are all in a position to adapt quickly to any changes. To help make this process easier, the AGA-BC will continue to provide golf operators with details about the latest support, benefits, health orders, tourism messaging, and other pandemic-related resources.

The links and information below are intended as a resource hub. Below you will find information on programs, best practices and Provincial health information to access as we continue to navigate changes in the COVID-19 landscape.

Current Focal Points for BC’s Golf Industry

As the BC golf industry realigns into a new normal for operations and as restrictions relax, golf operators are encouraged to maintain best practices and reinforce the safety of our sport.

Golf course operators are encouraged to visit the Provincial Health Officer’s COVID-19 page regularly as it provides a snapshot of current regulations and golf course operators can refer to this resource for “at a glance” information about province-wide restrictions and/or changes to health orders. 

International Travel to Canada

As of April 1, 2022, pre-entry testing is no longer required to enter Canada by land, sea, or air. However, unvaccinated travellers are still required to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days or isolate for ten days. Vaccinated travellers do not need to quarantine, provided they follow the entry requirements and have provided proof of vaccination (or exempt status) via the ArriveCAN app.

For a complete list of resources, requirements and frequently asked questions, please refer travellers to the Canadian Border Services Agency directly as changes to requirements may change frequently. The CBSA’s Covid-19: Travel, testing and borders page is the primary resource for up-to-date information.

Messaging Resources

As travel has reopened, the tourism bodies in BC have coordinated several tools and resources to help ensure all businesses in BC are providing clear and consistent messaging – these resources pertain to local, provincial, national, and international guests and travellers.

Proof of Vaccine

Currently, proof of vaccination is not required to access businesses, events or services in B.C. Proof of vaccination may be required for international travel. Please visit the Province of BC’s Proof of Vaccination page for more information.

A Specific Note About Travel for Sport and Tournaments

At the time of publication, travel for sport and/or recreation is permitted within all areas of BC and Canada.

Following confusion in 2021 about tournament play, a section has been added on the Province’s website to detail the current status of travel for sport and sports events/gatherings – please refer to the  Provincial Health Order regarding gatherings and events, which includes a specific sub-section about sports events. 

Ongoing Information and Staying up to Date

Changes to restrictions and health orders may happen at any time, so the AGA-BC encourages all golf operators to stay up to date and keep current with health orders pertaining to the services the golf industry relies on, such as gatherings and events, food and liquor serving establishments, and travel restrictions.

To that end, the Allied Golf Association of British Columbia (AGA-BC) has compiled the following summary of resources to access at any time

Sections of Information in this Article:


GOLF AND TOURISM ASSOCIATION LINKS TO COVID-19 INFORMATION:

British Columbia Golf Updates

Golf Canada Updates and Resource Page

National Golf Course Owners Association Canada (NGCOA) 

PGA of Canada COVID-19 Member Resource Hub – member login required

Tourism Industry Association of BC

Tourism Industry Association of Canada

Destination BC


GOVERNMENT RESOURCES:

Federal Government of Canada:
COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
Managing Your Business During COVID-19

Government of British Columbia: 
British Columbia’s Response to COVID-19
BC’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan
BC’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan
BC’s Health Regions – map

Ministerial Orders Relevant to the Golf Industry:
Ministerial Orders pertaining to Province-Wide Restrictions
Travel Restriction Information

Provincial Programs, Information, and Support:
Small Business BC Businesses Grants, Supports, & Programs (Province of BC)
COVID-19 Supports for Tourism Businesses (Destination BC)
COVID-19 BC Support App and Self-Assessment Tool – Download on the App, Get it on Google Play or visit the Self-

Signage and Resources:

WorkSafeBC:
COVID-19 Information and Resources
Exposure Control Plan* REQUIRED of every golf course in operation


FOR GOLF INDUSTRY BUSINESS OWNERS:

WorkSafeBC’s Guide to What Employers Should Do

WorkSafeBC’s Guide Information and Resources

Support:

Government of Canada – Support and Programs for Businesses

Government of BC – COVID-19 Supports for Small Businesses in BC

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

Federal Wage and Hiring Support Programs

The Federal Government’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) was a primary resource for businesses during 2021. This program has expired as of October 23, 2021, but the Federal government does have ongoing programs that may apply to certain businesses in BC.

Note: These programs ended as of May 7, 2022, but information and links have been retained as retroactive applications for the final period are being accepted until November 3, 2022.

  • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) – Wage
    Effective: October 24, 2021, to May 7, 2022
  • Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP) – Wage
    Effective: October 24, 2021, to May 7, 2022
  • Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP)
    Effective: June 6, 2021, to May 7, 2022
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
    Effective: March 15, 2020, to October 23, 2021

The Government of Canada site also provides additional information about eligibility, payment amounts – Information about the program details can be found here: COVID-19 Wage and Hiring Supports.

How to Apply

    • Eligible employers would be able to apply for Wage and Hiring Supports 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 these programs if they do not meet the eligibility requirements. Penalties may apply in cases of fraudulent claims and may include fines and imprisonment.

Emergency Rent Subsidies

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) ended effective October 23, 2021, and was replaced by two new programs. These programs ended as of May 7, 2022, but information and links have been retained as retroactive applications for the final period are being accepted until November 3, 2022.

  • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) – Rent
    Effective: October 24, 2021, to May 7, 2022
  • Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP) – Rent
    Effective: October 24, 2021, to May 7, 2022

More information about these and other available support measures can be found in the Finance Department’s Rent and Property Support Page

Employment Termination / Lay-Off Resources:

  • Province of BC resources and information about terminations and layoffs.
  • 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 
    • 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. **Note: the extension to layoff periods due to COVID-19 has ended. More information about the various maximum length and recall date requirements can be found on the Government’s Extension of lay-off periods page.
    • They are only considered temporary if the layoff is part of an employment contract, or if 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 or statutory severance.
    • If the temporary layoff is longer than 13 weeks (or applicable duration based on the date of lay-off and special extensions), it becomes a termination of employment. The start of the layoff is the termination date, and the employer must give pay for the 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:

Updated October 7, 2021 – Province of British Columbia’s tax and tax-related changes, incentives and benefits

Provincial changes include:

  • Deferral of payments on the Employer Health Tax (EHT), municipal and regional district tax, tobacco tax, motor fuel tax, carbon tax, and PST.
  • Tax incentives for Employment and Select Machine Purchases.
  • 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

Financial Assistance:

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit – CLOSED & Canada Response Benefit (CRB) – CLOSED
    Additional support measures may be available, depending on your circumstances – we encourage all golf-industry employees to become familiar with the current programs offered by the Government of Canada
  • 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, 2021, the maximum yearly insurable earnings amount is $56,300. This means that you can receive a maximum amount of $595 per week.
  • Working While on EI
    • 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 received CRB Benefits you may not earn more than $38,000 in the calendar year – if your net income is more than $38,000, You will have to reimburse $0.50 of the benefit for every dollar of net income that you earned above $38,000
    • For either Regular Benefits or CRB, 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 CRB FAQ.
  • Family Caregiver Benefits – As of September 27, 2020, additional allowances and access to EI Benefits have been added where individuals are required to provide care to a family member.

Additional Assistance:

The changes to benefit programs and support measures were put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic to create multiple options for employees who find themselves without work due to COVID-19. However, many of these programs are either winding down or have reverted to pre-pandemic operations. For more information about programs and eligibility you are encouraged to connect directly with government representatives to learn more about which options apply to your situation:

Government of Canada

Province of British Columbia