The Alberta government will provide immediate funding and supportive measures to support local businesses, employers and employees.
Support for employers
Corporate income tax changes
- Corporate income tax balances and instalment payments will be deferred from March 19 until August 31, 2020 to increase employers’ access to cash so they can pay employees, address debts and continue operations.
Utility payment holiday
- Farm and commercial customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider.
Banks and credit unions
- Business members should contact their credit union directly to work out a plan for their personal situation
- Small business customers can:
- apply for a payment deferral on loans and lines of credit for up to 6 months
- access additional working capital
- Other businesses and agriculture customers can access support on a one-on-one basis. Further solutions are being considered at this time
Changes to the Employment Standards Code will allow full and part-time employees to take 14 days of job-protected leave if they are:
- required to self-isolate
- caring for a child or dependent adult that is required to self-isolate
To be eligible, employees:
- will not be required to have a medical note
- do not need to have worked for an employer for 90 days
This leave covers the 14-day self-isolation period recommended by Alberta’s chief medical officer. This leave may be extended if the advice of the chief medical officer changes.
The leave does not apply to self-employed individuals or contractors.
Vacation pay, leave or banked overtime
Employers and employees may consider using other available leaves should an employee be required to self-isolate.
- Employees can request using their vacation pay or banked overtime, but employers are not required to grant the request. Provincial employment rules only require employers to provide vacation pay, vacation leave or pay banked overtime within a year of it being earned.
- Employers can request employees voluntarily take vacation leave and/or use their vacation pay or banked overtime, but cannot force them to do so under provincial employment rules.
Employment insurance benefits
Employees may consider applying for federal Employment Insurance benefits.
- Allows up to 15 weeks of assistance if a person cannot work due to medical reasons such as self-isolation or self-quarantine.
- The one-week waiting period for Employment Insurance benefits has been waived by the federal government.
Business continuity plans
Employers should consider their business continuity plans and how COVID-19 could impact their workplace. To prepare, make plans to:
- protect employees
- limit spread in workplaces
- ensure continuity of critical services if staff are ill or self-isolating
- explore alternate working arrangements, such as:
- working from home or remotely
- doing work that doesn’t require contact with other people
- OHS: Respiratory viruses and the workplace
- Employment standards rules
- Business continuity planning (PDF, 319 KB)
- WCB: COVID-19 worker fact sheet (PDF, 57 KB)
- WCB: COVID-19 employer fact sheet (PDF, 70 KB)
- POSTERS: Help Prevent the Spread