Alberta Biz Connect – Workplace guidance and supports Update November 22, 2021

Alberta Biz Connect – Workplace guidance and supports Update November 22, 2021

Workplace guidance and supports to help businesses and non-profits affected by COVID-19 operate safely and support their recovery.


Supports for businesses and critical workers

Public health restrictions are in place to reduce the impacts of COVID-19 on the health care system. Some businesses can participate in the Restrictions Exemption Program.
Financial support for eligible in-scope businesses implementing the Restrictions Exemption Program
Businesses and non-profits can apply for funding to reduce the cost of hiring and training Albertans for new jobs.
Employers and service providers can apply to implement a rapid COVID-19 testing program in their organization.

Public health measures

Public health measures are now in effect that include capacity and operating restrictions.


Workplace guidance


Workplace rules

  • An employee can be temporarily laid off due to COVID-19 for 180 consecutive days from the initial layoff date.

    If the employee is not recalled to work after 180 consecutive days, their employment is considered to be ended, and they must receive termination pay if entitled.

    Learn more about temporary layoffs.

  • To request an employee return to work after a layoff, an employer must serve a recall notice to the employee in writing. Employees are not required to be tested for COVID-19 before they return to work.

    If an employee fails to return to work within 7 days of receiving the recall notice, the employer may terminate their employment. The employee is not entitled to termination notice or termination pay in this case.

    From a health and safety perspective, workers may suggest it is unsafe to return to work.

    • Employees have the right to refuse dangerous work – but this usually relates to a specific task, activity or condition and does not normally allow workers to refuse to attend work.
    • Employers must take steps to ensure the safety of their staff and customers, and must follow all public health orders and guidance.

    For detailed information, contact:

  • Quarantine leave

    Employees are entitled to 14 days of unpaid, job-protected leave if they are required to quarantine due to COVID-19. This leave can be taken more than once.

    Family responsibility leave

    Employees are entitled to unpaid, job-protected leave if they are required to:

    • care for self-isolated family members
    • care for children unable to attend school or child care as a result of Chief Medical Officer of Health orders related to COVID-19

    This leave may be taken for as long as needed to meet family responsibilities. It can be accessed more than once.

    Financial support

    Employment standards rules

    Paid vaccination leave

    All working Albertans can access 3 hours of paid, job-protected leave to get each dose of the vaccine.

  • Employers must continue to meet existing occupational health and safety (OHS) requirements.

    OHS questions and concerns can be directed to the:

    OHS Contact Centre online
    Phone: 1-866-415-8690 (in Alberta)
    Phone: 780-415-8690 (in Edmonton)

  • Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces, workplaces, and places of worship as of September 16.

    Employees must mask for all indoor settings, except while alone in work stations.

    For more information on masking, including how to wear and care for your mask, see mask requirements.


Financial supports

  • A one-time payment of $2,000 to eligible Alberta small and medium-sized businesses, cooperatives and non-profit organizations is now available for those participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program.

    Learn more about the Restrictions Exemption Program Implementation Grant.

  • Eligible industry associations will be able to access funding to develop or procure safety training that helps workers assess and manage challenging situations when implementing the Restrictions Exemption Program. Workers and employers will be able to access this training through select industry associations.

    More information about the Restrictions Exemption Program Training Grant will be released soon.

  • The Alberta Jobs Now Program second application intake period will open on November 10 with changes to help employers meet their labour needs and provide more Albertans with the skills to find successful careers.

    Private and non-profit businesses can apply for funding to offset the cost of hiring and training Albertans into new or vacant jobs.

    Employers can get up to:

    • $25,000 for each new hire, or
    • $37,500 for each new employee with a disability

    Workers cannot apply for the program directly, but can let potential employers know they can apply for the Alberta Jobs Now program if they hire you.

    Learn more about Alberta Jobs Now

  • All working Albertans can access 3 hours of paid, job-protected leave to get each dose of the vaccine.

  • Education property tax rates were frozen at last year’s level – reversing the 3.4% population and inflation increase added in Budget 2020.

    Collection of non-residential education property tax for businesses was deferred for 6 months to September 30, or a deferral of both municipal and education property tax for a shorter time that is of equivalent benefit.

    • Municipalities were expected to set education property tax rates as they normally would, but defer collection.
    • Commercial landlords are encouraged to pass savings on to their tenants through reduced or deferred payments to help employers pay their employees and stay in business.
    • Taxpayers can contact their municipality directly for information on their municipality’s approach to education property tax deferral or to discuss a payment schedule to pay these deferred taxes.

    Learn more

  • Hotels and other lodging providers are permitted to keep tourism levy amounts collected between April 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021.

    Learn more

  • Small, medium and large private sector employers can defer WCB premium payments until 2021.

    • For small and medium businesses, the government will cover 50% of the 2020 premium when it is due in 2021 – saving businesses $350 million.
    • Large employers will have their 2020 WCB premium payments deferred until 2021, at which time their premiums will be due.

    Employers who have already paid WCB premiums in 2020 are eligible for a rebate or credit.

  • Businesses may be able to access federal supports to help with COVID-19-related challenges. For the latest information on federal programs, see the Government of Canada’s resources below.


Additional information and resources

  • Connect to PPE suppliers using the websites below. The government is not responsible for products or prices offered on these sites.

    Alberta-based businesses that manufacture PPE can find out how to help at Alberta Bits and Pieces.

  • Talk to a small business strategist at Business Link for one-on-one coaching, advice and information on COVID-19 resources and supports.

    To connect with a Business Link strategist:

    Submit your question online or contact them directly:

    Toll free: 1-800-272-9675 (Canada only)
    TTY: 1-800-457-8466 (For the deaf or hard of hearing)
    Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed weekends and statutory holidays)

  • The COVID-19 pandemic can have a significant impact on mental health.

    Online resources are available if you need advice on handling stressful situations.

    If you need to talk, call the 24-hour help lines:

    For more information, visit COVID-19 info for Albertans.

  • Provincial quarantine rules for returning international travellers have been lifted, but federal travel requirements remain in place. For more information, see COVID-19 travel requirements.

  • As of July 29, 2021, close contacts of COVID-19 cases are no longer legally required to quarantine after an exposure to a case of COVID-19.

    Alberta Health Services Public Health will continue to investigate and manage cases of COVID-19. However, it is strongly recommended that cases notify their close contacts of the exposure including those they work with.

    The following recommendations apply to business operators, staff members, as well as others potentially exposed to a COVID-19 case:

    • They should monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the exposure. If they develop symptoms, they must isolate and should get tested.
    • Follow all provincial public health restrictions including masking and physical distancing as well as and any local municipal restrictions in your area.
    • Follow good public health practices such as handwashing or sanitizing hands often and environmental cleaning.
    • Close contacts who are not fully vaccinated should avoid high-risk locations such as continuing care facilities and crowded indoor spaces.

    Proof of a negative COVID-19 test and/or a medical note is not required to return to school, work or activities once the isolation period is complete. Learn more about isolation and quarantine requirements.

  • COVID-19 resources are available in Arabic, 中文, हिंदी, 한국어, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Af-Soomaali, Español, Français, Tagalog, Tiếng Việt and Urdu.

    See translated resources


CryptoCurrency Updates: November 21, 2021

CryptoCurrency Updates: November 21, 2021

Looking for the latest and hottest crypto news and updates? Check out today’s selection of News, Education, Resources and more!


Decoding Crypto: What Was the First Cryptocurrency and Who Created It?   “Bitcoin (BTC) is the largest and most well-known cryptocurrency, but it wasn’t the first attempt at a digital, decentralized currency. Earlier versions of cryptocurrency existed well over a decade before Bitcoin’s first lines of code were written in 2009.”

Two Tips To Keep Your Online Activity- And Your Bitcoin- Safer   “Staying safe online is becoming tougher and tougher. We are now in a period where cyber-attacks are becoming a part of daily life and which not only affect individuals but whole countries. Recently it was suggested that North Korea has begun attacking other countries internet systems in order to disrupt and put pressure on their enemies. It was reported by bbc.co.uk that North Korea were behind and recent wannacry security hack that affected the NHS in the UK and put pressure on services in the United States.”

bitcoin best practices – bitcoin core + specter + coldcard guide  “The goal of this guide is to get you setup with using bitcoin in a reasonably easy, affordable, and secure way. After you get comfortable with this setup you can easily upgrade your security and privacy without changing the software you are using.”

The beginner’s guide to creating & selling digital art NFTs  Unlockable content, filterable properties, limited-edition listings, and more… As word spreads about the rise of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), we’re fielding more and more questions from artists and creators looking to sell their work on the blockchain. For many, the first steps can be tricky to overcome. Crypto wallets? Ethereum? We’ve all been there. Here’s how to turn your art into NFTs and list them for sale on OpenSea.

Edition365: A portrait of the year that changed everything “Since the coronavirus pandemic swept the world in March 2020, humanity has shared – and documented – an extraordinary experience. History has unfurled in front of our eyes; cracks in our systems have been magnified, and across oceans and borders, ways of thinking, acting, and existing remain in flux. Intended to stand as a historical reference for decades to come, Edition365 is the newest open call from 1854 and British Journal of Photography, set to produce a global and multi-faceted portrait of the year that changed everything. Edition365 will culminate in a major virtual exhibition in collaboration with growing nexus of the digital art space, New Art City, alongside a collectible photobook and an NFT auction.

Where do you go to get your favorite Crypto News? Leave a comment below!

News You Can Use – #4

News You Can Use – #4

News You Can Use

October 6, 2021 Edition

DSOS Bookkeeping and Accounting offers affordable financial solutions to small to medium businesses across all of Edmonton and area

Photo by Tobias Bjørkli from Pexels


Global News Daily Headlines

October 6, 2021
CANADAOctober 6, 2021 7:06 am

COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for federal workers by end of October, Trudeau announces

Trudeau promised in August, just before calling the election, that his Liberal government would make vaccinations mandatory for federal employees.

Continue reading →

CANADAOctober 6, 2021 12:55 pm

‘True’ that military leadership ‘just doesn’t get it’ on sexual misconduct issue, Freeland says

‘The military still doesn’t get that survivors need to be … the unique priority of everything in regards to sexual misconduct and harassment in the military,’ Trudeau said.

Continue reading →

HEALTHOctober 6, 2021 10:10 am

Canada must be ‘practical’ on school rapid testing amid U.S. supply crunch: advocates

Some provinces in Canada are announcing strategies involving rapid testing to protect children from COVID-19 in schools as they await a childhood vaccine.

Continue reading →

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JUSTIN TRUDEAUOctober 6, 2021 11:55 am

VIDEO: Trudeau says Tofino vacation was a ‘mistake’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called his recent Tofino, B.C. trip a “mistake,” during a news conference on Wednesday, apologizing for vacationing on the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Watch Video →

CANADAOctober 6, 2021 8:56 am

Canada lacks ‘political will’ to waive COVID-19 vaccine patents, Bolivian minister says

The Bolivian government is calling on Canada to exercise its power within the World Trade Organization to allow an Ontario company to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines for Bolivians.

Continue reading →

HEALTHOctober 6, 2021 1:25 pm

Ontario religious groups require proof of COVID-19 vaccine from staff at places of worship

The province’s vaccine certificate system — which kicked in last month and requires proof of a shot to access certain venues – does not cover places of worship.

Continue reading →

News You Can Use – #4

News You Can Use – #3

Welcome to our “News You Can Use” blog segment!

Monday, August 16, 2021


Today’s News Headlines: Alberta.ca


News You Can Use – #4

News You Can Use – #2

Welcome to our “News You Can Use” blog segment!

Monday, August 16, 2021

Photo by jamie patterson on Pexels.com

Health guide, tool kit and on-site vaccination ensure safe school year ahead

New health guidance will ensure students’ safety and help school officials prepare for the new school year.


The Guidance for Respiratory Illness Prevention and Management in Schools document will help schools to reduce respiratory illness and infection in schools. A back-to-school tool kit provides information for parents and school staff on what to expect when students head to their classrooms.

Consistent with the extended timelines for easing COVID-19 measures, students and school staff should screen daily for symptoms using the Alberta Health Daily Checklist, and must isolate if they test positive or have the core COVID-19 symptoms.  A detailed 2021-22 School Year Plan contains two contingency scenarios for continuing student learning if there is a significant change in the COVID-19 situation in the fall.  

To further promote a safe school year, all eligible Albertans, including students, teaching staff, parents and guardians, are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated with both doses before the school year begins.

With these measures in place and climbing vaccination rates, students and parents can look forward to in-person classes, with no restrictions on in-person learning or extracurricular activities. However, masking will be required on school buses.

“Thanks to the power of vaccines, I’m pleased that students can return to a normal school year in September. The safety of students and staff remains our number one priority, and we have a detailed plan that includes contingency scenarios for continuing student learning if there is a significant change in the COVID-19 situation. We will continue to follow the expert advice of Alberta’s chief medical officer of health and are ready to make changes if needed.” 

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

“Making sure Alberta’s schools are safe is one of our government’s top priorities. I am confident that this guidance will help keep students and staff safe, and our province’s children and youth can go on to thrive in the upcoming school year.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

Vaccines in schools

To increase accessibility to COVID-19 vaccines, immunizations will be available through temporary clinics in schools for students in grades 7 to 12 as well as teachers and staff. Starting on September 7 students, teachers and staff can receive whichever dose they are eligible for in school.

Parent or guardian consent for students will be required through consent forms.

Students in grades 7 to 12 do not need to wait for an in-school clinic to be vaccinated. Bookings for first and second doses are available provincewide. Albertans can book appointments through AHS online, by calling 811 or through participating pharmacies. First-dose walk-in clinics are available at multiple locations.

“Vaccines are the most important protective measure for students, teachers, parents and guardians as we prepare for back to school. I encourage parents and guardians to arrange vaccine appointments for themselves and their children as soon as possible. This will help further strengthen protection in schools and benefit all youth, whether or not they can be immunized yet.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health

AHS will continue to support schools to manage outbreaks of respiratory illnesses.

Alberta’s government has contingency scenarios to continue student learning if there is a significant change in the COVID-19 situation — similar to those implemented in the previous school year.


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2021-22 school year plan and health guidance highlights

  • Students, families and school staff should continue to screen daily for symptoms using the Alberta Health Daily Checklist and get tested if they are symptomatic.
  • The Guidance for Respiratory Illness Prevention and Management in Schools builds on public health practices used to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, such as COVID-19, influenza and other infections in school settings.
  • Best practices to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses will continue, including:
    • Students and staff who have any new signs of illness should stay home and not attend school until they are feeling well.
      • If a student or staff member has any of the following core COVID-19 symptoms (new, or worsening and not related to other known causes), they are required to isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms, or until they receive a negative COVID-19 test result, as per provincial guidelines:
        • Fever
        • Cough
        • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
        • Loss of sense of smell or taste
        • Sore throat (adults only)
        • Runny nose (adults only)
    • Cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces.
    • Promoting frequent hand hygiene and good respiratory etiquette.
    • Schools are encouraged to have a plan for students and staff who develop symptoms to wait in a separate area until they can go home. 
  • Masking is not provincially required in school settings for any age group, except on school buses.
    • AHS, through a zone Medical Officer of Health or their designate, may recommend masking to manage an outbreak and prevent more widespread transmission of a respiratory illness.
    • Zone Medical Officers of Health and their designates may also recommend additional measures if a school experiences a respiratory illness outbreak including screening for symptoms and cohorting.
  • School authorities have the ability and the corresponding accountability to put in place local measures, such as physical distancing, cohorting, and masking requirements, that may exceed provincial guidance.

Quick facts

  • As of August 12, 65 per cent of 12 to 14 year olds have received one dose in Alberta and 54 per cent are fully protected with two doses.
  • As of August 12, 67 per cent of 15 to 19 year olds have been partially vaccinated in Alberta with one dose and 56 per cent are fully protected with two doses.

Related information

Multimedia


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