C-19 BULLETIN - July 20, 2020

Online Tool Speeds up Temporary Layoff Extension Application Process

Employers and workers who need to extend temporary layoffs due to COVID-19 can more easily apply for a variance using the Employment Standards Branch’s new online application.

In June, government extended the time period for temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 to a maximum of 24 weeks, expiring on Aug. 30th. This is expanded from 16 weeks to give employers and workers more flexibility.

The new online application simplifies and streamlines the process for employers and workers to jointly apply for an extension beyond August 30th by eliminating the need for hardcopy documents and signatures, while ensuring the integrity of the branch’s decision-making process.

Government engaged with stakeholders, including small businesses, to test the online process to make it as simple as possible to support BC’s workplaces in economic recovery.

Employers are encouraged to apply as soon as they have received worker support. An application deadline of August 25th has been set to ensure that all applications will be processed by the expiry date.

There are now two steps. Employers must:
  • Survey their workforce to obtain more than 50% support from workers before applying. Workers will receive information about the variance, including what their rights are and can provide their support using a new online response tool;
  • Once worker support is documented, employers complete the online form and submit the document in a new portal directly to the Employment Standards Branch.
  • There are new supportive templates and tools to assist employers and workers in taking these steps.

Under BC’s Employment Standards Act, temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 can last up to 24 weeks, or until August 30th, before the layoff becomes permanent. Government recommends that employers submit their variance applications early to avoid the potential of permanent staff layoffs and compensation for length of service to eligible workers upon the expiry of the COVID-19 emergency layoff period.

Liquor and Food Primaries Can Now Purchase Liquor at Wholesale Price

Today, for the first time in our industry’s history, British Columbia’s liquor primaries and food primaries can  purchase liquor at wholesale price . Although the savings will vary from product-to-product, ABLE BC expects on average this will lead to a 20% reduction in liquor purchase costs – and as much as five per cent to business' bottom line.

Hospitality customers who have registered with the LDB can now use a searchable hospitality price list to help with their buying decisions. A complete online hospitality product catalogue will launch September 1st.

If you haven’t registered for the Hospitality Product Catalogue, learn more and register  here .
Hospitality pricing will remain in effect until March 31st, 2021, at which time the program will be reviewed by government.

Learn more at:
BC Hotel Association Update

Last week the BC Hotel Association announced the results of their  recent pulse check  that offered a sobering look at the current and future state of our industry.

At a glance, June provincial results indicate that:
  • June 2020 occupancy was 30.2%, down 62.3% from June 2019
  • June ADR was $129.10, down $99.12 or 43.4% from June 2019
  • June RevPar was $38.97, versus $182.69 June 2019. 
The Canadian Business Development Bank provided an overview of the state of the industry and some key messaging regarding recovery in this recent article:

Tamara Vrooman, joined the Vancouver Airport Authority as president and CEO on July 1st. YVR has released a short video where you can get to know Tamara a bit better through questions including: "Why did you choose YVR?" and "What is your first priority as YVR's new President and CEO?".

Destination BC’S Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Black Lives Matter movement has inspired powerful conversations within our organization, and Destination BC has been humbled through this initial period of introspection.

Over the past few weeks, the organization has been reflecting on how it plays a role in dismantling racial barriers that block social and economic equity, and recognize that only a sustained and focused effort will lead to progress.

DBC understands that it needs to do much more to become the tourism industry leader we aspire to be. To do this right, DBC needs to take a thoughtful approach in defining and setting actions to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion within its organization and in all aspects of its work.

Destination BC is committed to carefully examining what we do, how we work and who we work with.

Learn more at:
Royal Roads Resource Forum

Royal Roads Resource Forum has added new resources:

Under Marketing and Communication:
Recorded webinar, ' Tips and Tactics for Marketing and Sales ' by Steve Kleinschmidt

Under Human Resources:
Recorded webinar,  Revisiting Your COVID-19 Safety Plan  - go2HR, featuring Julie Wright, Director of HR, Inn at Laurel Point.

Key topics covered include:
  • A refresher on the key components of a robust COVID-19 Safety Plan
  • Your original plan seemed to work at the time. How do you evaluate its effectiveness against an ever-changing work environment?
  • Lessons learned through realizing a COVID-19 Safety Plan. What worked and what didn’t?
  • What we know now about COVID-19: the latest controls that we should be focusing on in the workplace
  • Tips to prevent “coronavirus complacency” within your team and to keep everyone committed to the cause

Visit the resource forum at: csonline.royalroads.ca/moodle/login/index.php
Please contact  geoff.2bird@royalroads.ca  if you have any questions or to request login details.
7 Ways to Travel Safely this Summer

To further encourage safe and responsible travel throughout our province, Destination BC has we been working with a number of media outlets to amplify safe travel tips across digital and print consumer channels. Recently, they assisted the Vancouver Sun in a video focused on: 'BC summer: 7 ways to travel safely'.

Moving Van Webinars

Moving in a Livable Region (MLR) is hosting a new series of community dialogues entitled  Moving Van: Building our Region for a New Normal .  

3-part series of dialogues on the following themes:
Tuesday July 21 @ 3:30 pm (PT)
What are the most important decision making factors that will influence whether you physically partake in an activity like work, school, or recreation? How are you looking to move about now? What's safe now and what do we need to change to ensure we're safer in the long run?   These are the questions we will be exploring with you and with experts in the mobility space. 

Monday July 27 @ 3:30 pm (PT)
Is density a bad word after COVID-19? Are we better off in sprawling communities instead? Does COVID-19 shift how we plan our cities? What does this mean for housing prices and cost of living? Is there still hope for reducing our GHG emissions?  These questions look at how the pandemic will affect our community planning in the future and will allow us to separate myths from facts when it comes to safety risks.

Friday July 31 @3:30 pm (PT)
Why was our public transit infrastructure under threat of financial collapse because of COVID-19? Are we funding our priorities sustainably? Has COVID-19 highlighted system vulnerabilities that organizations have been pointing out for years?  This event will explore how we fund our public transit system, where the dollars go, and what other funding methods exist out there that we could learn from.
****NOTE: TIABC's C-19 Bulletin is now published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Feel free to send us your ideas on what information would be valuable for TIABC to share through our COVID-19 Bulletin going forward. Drop us a line at info@tiabc.ca.