Dear Hotel Community,
We are profoundly pleased to share with you all a gratifying update surrounding the recent Public Health Order which mandated time restrictions on meetings and events, requiring them to take place between noon and 11pm.
formal letter submission
to Premier John Horgan, Minister Lisa Beare, Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry, we received a prompt reply from Dr. Bonnie Henry earlier today recognizing these concerns and confirming that limitations toward our industry were not the intent of the order.
We are currently working hand-in-hand to provide immediate clarification to this order, making appropriate recommendations to ensure there are no further restrictions on your properties and businesses. Ultimately, the Public Health Order is being updated to clarify that this restrictions will not apply to hotels with the below amendments guiding the revisions:
- The use of the term "premises" will no longer refer to hotels. This terminology has been clarified to apply to restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, cafeterias and licensed premises, including bars, clubs, nightclubs and tasting rooms
- The term "meeting" has been removed from the definition of events
- Events will be allowed to happen between 5.30am and 11pm
We thank our government and Dr. Bonnie Henry for being open to discussion on this issue and for taking action to make the necessary changes in order to support our industry. As the revised order has not yet been finalized, we will continue to offer additional updates. Please note, that at this time there is no need to make any further changes to your upcoming events or meetings, should you have any on the books.
As part of added advocacy efforts, we have included two additional letters below that were recently sent to government. The first with the association's formal request for response and recovery, which remains in support of the Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia's (TIABC) request for $680 million in relief. The second outlines compounding issues surrounding labour relations.
Further to this, the BCHA has had a finger on the pulse of issues surrounding the temporary layoff variance portal and what this new tool will mean for each of you. Many of you have voiced that you do not have a clear idea of when you will be able to recall your employees, a point that the Employment Standards Branch understands.
With that said, a specific date is required to apply for a variance. It is recommended that employers determine a date that most closely aligns with their reasonable business plans to partially or fully resume operations; they are encouraged to ask for a few months’ extension.
All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and the Director of Employment Standards will only exercise discretion to grant an extension of the temporary layoff period past December 31, 2020 in exceptional circumstances.
Accordingly, the specific recall date you provide on your application should be selected after considering all the circumstances and the purposes of the act; preserving an employer's business is also an important consideration. Should the situation arise where an employer is not able to bring their employees back before the date provided on their variance, employers can apply to the Branch for a renewal variance.
Finally, we wanted to extend our thanks to each of our members who voiced concerns surrounding the limitations to the Public Health Order. It was the result of your collective voice that truly pushed this issue forward.
President and CEO
British Columbia Hotel Association