ACC response to COVID-19
March 18, 2020
ACC updates
Effective March 16, all ACC staff will begin working remotely to facilitate appropriate social distancing. All staff will continue to be available by both phone and email. We do not anticipate any disruptions to service during this time.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and follow the recommendations of provincial and national medical experts. This bulletin will continue to be updated as new information becomes available. After today, we will limit our email communications on COVID-19 to a maximum of one update per day at 4:30 p.m.

The ACC will continue to host a weekly teleconference meeting on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Due to ongoing capacity issues with the Recite conference line, we will be h osting these meetings through 8x8 video conferencing. You can access these meetings through your desktop web browser at or by downloading the 8x8 Video Meetings mobile app and following the above link to access the meeting .

For the time being, our monthly policy calls will also move to 8x8 video conferencing. You can access these meetings through your desktop web browser at or by downloading the 8x8 Video Meetings mobile app and following the above link to access the meeting .

In light of the current situation, we will pause Alberta Perspectives survey three for the time being. We appreciate your ongoing support for this program.

To contact the ACC, please email and we will return your message as soon as possible.
WHO resources
National resources
On March 18, the federal government announced new supports for Canadians and businesses. See the full list of measures here.

The ACC is closely following the provincial and national governments' responses to COVID-19. In efforts to reduce overlap of sources and information, the ACC is using the Canadian Chamber of Commerce data on COVID-19 and business preparedness.

We encourage community chambers to use these resources as their primary source of information when communicating to your members as well.

Provincial resources
On March 17, Alberta Health declared a state of emergency under the Public Health Act.
  • All events of more than 50 people are to be cancelled
  • No attendance at rec centres, casinos, bingo halls, bars, theatres and other facilities
  • Sit-down restaurants can remain open at lower capacity

The ACC won't venture to guess how long the current situation will last, but understands the impact the COVID-19 virus will have on you, our members and the business community in Alberta. In response, we have put together a short, three-question survey to track the revenue losses of Alberta chambers.

Given this is trade show season, we are aware that many of you are looking at substantial losses that may undermine the stability of your chamber. The ACC will track the commitments of all levels of government to assist business and the not-for-profit sector as things progress.

Please continue to keep us updated by way of the survey (above) regarding cancellation of chamber gatherings. The survey will remain open and you can respond multiple times from the same e-mail address.

Video conferencing services
With Canadians encouraged to limit in-person contact, many organizations are shifting to working and/or meeting remotely. The below article provides six free video conferencing apps to help you stay connected during this time.

HR concerns
The ACC has been in contact with the Chambers Group Plan and asked that they reach out to Arive, which administers the HR component available to clients of Chamber Plan. They have agreed to do so and rather than inundating Arive with calls from chambers, will determine if they are able to assist with HR-related concerns.

We hope to be able to provide polices to assist chambers if quarantine becomes more frequent or desired by staff, advice for discussions with boards of directors for issues like working from home and continuance of payroll.

Anyone with Chambers Plan health benefits can access Teladoc Telemedicine to speak with a doctor within an hour at no cost. Download the app or call 1-888-983-5236.

Alberta Employer updates
Sick Leave - Alberta
On Friday, March 13, 2020 the Alberta government announced changes to the Employment Standards Code Regulation prohibiting employers from requiring sick notes from employees, expanding job-protected leave from 5 to 14 days, and waiving the requirement that employees be employed for 90 days before being entitled to this job-protected leave. At the time, the government indicated that this leave would be paid, though did not provide specifics.
Unfortunately, the government has not yet been able to provide further information about how this leave would be "paid". The amended regulation has not been published. We understand there may be discussions underway between various levels of government with respect to compensation for employees who need to access this leave. When the regulation is published, we expect it may be retroactive to March 13, 2020. The Prime Minister today indicated that there would be a further announcement tomorrow involving financial measures, and we anticipate this will include expanded measures to provide employees/employers with financial assistance as a result of COVID-19.
Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits
In the interim, a separate phone line has been set up through Service Canada for queries related to EI sickness benefits relating to COVID-19. The phone number is 1-833-381-2725 . The federal government has waived the one (1) week waiting period for Canadians requiring EI sickness benefits for COVID-19, including those who are in a 14-day isolation period. Canadians can apply right away. For employers who do not offer sick leave, or for employees who have exhausted sick leave entitlements, this is an option to provide some compensation.
We have reached out to Alberta Labour with the goal of setting up a webinar to discuss the legal realities and minimum requirements for employers when a pandemic occurs. We will keep you posted as we have information to share.
Spruce Grove roundtable
Unfortunately, the roundtable scheduled for April 22nd in Spruce Grove is postponed until further notice. We look forward to connecting in person when it is safe to do so.
On behalf of all of the ACC executive and staff, we thank you for all that you do. Please know we are here for you and wish you and yours continued good health and a quick end to the current situation. Please contact with any questions or concerns.
The Alberta Chambers of Commerce is a federation of 124 community-based chambers of commerce representing more than 25,000 job creators.

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