Industry Updates - go2HR Support and New PHO Public Order - Boundary Country - Industry News

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Industry Updates – go2HR Support and New PHO Public Order

During these constantly changing times, it’s important to stay up to date and know what are the best resources to help you respond. Below is valuable industry updates that include:

  • New PHO Public Order
  • go2HR – Updated: Employee Support Options During Circuit-Breaker

New PHO Public Order

A copy of the new public order for Food and Liquor Serving Premises is now available. Download it here. The order is addressed to restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, cafeterias, and food primary and liquor primary establishments, including pubs, bars, lounges, and nightclubs, liquor manufacturing facilities that have tasting rooms, and private clubs. 

Highlights of the Order:

  • No person may operate a premises as a nightclub
  • No person may provide food or drinks services inside restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, cafeterias and food primary and liquor primary establishments, including pubs, bars, lounges, liquor manufacturing facilities that have tasting rooms, and private clubs
  • A person may provide food or drink takeout or delivery services, subject to conditions (see page 3)
  • Premises which are licensed to serve liquor, and which do not have full meal service, must be closed, if they do not have a patio or other outside area in which to serve patrons
  • ‘Full meal service’ is defined as: food provided by a caterer to the premises or available from a food truck located beside or on the premises, but does not include snacks, appetizers, or tapas on their own
  • A person may provide food or drink services outside, including on a patio, subject to conditions (see page 4 onwards)
  • ‘Patio’ is defined as: a space completely open to outdoor air on at least two sides
  • A patron must remain seated, except to use a self-serve food or drink station, use a self-serve lottery ticket dispenser, pay at a pay station, use washroom facilities or when leaving the premises. A patron may use washroom facilities inside the premises and may walk through a premises in order to reach an outside place or patio.
  • No person may sell liquor between 10:00 pm and 9:00 am on the following day.
  •  A tasting room with a liquor manufacturer license may have patrons inside for the purpose of tasting, subject to conditions (see page 6). Note: sections 1, 7, 8, 9, and 11 do not apply to a tasting room. Please read the order for details.
  • The rules for gatherings and events continue to apply. See pages 6-7.

Please read the order for full conditions and ensure your COVID-19 safety plan is up to date. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact ABLE BC:

Go2HR – Updated: Employee Support Options During Circuit-Breaker

With the recent COVID-19 “circuit breaker” restrictions announced by B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer (PHO), Doctor Henry, restaurants, bars, pubs and other food and liquor service establishments have been substantially impacted. Employers are looking for options to help support and retain their employees, particularly through the next few weeks. Strong communication plays a critical role in employee retention. Be sure to provide lots of open, transparent and ongoing communication with staff. Keep them informed about changes in the business, what they are and how it will impact them – personally – in their employment. Encourage employees to ask questions. Short-term changes in operations may mean needing to adjust schedules, reduce hours, encourage vacation time, etc. Where possible, encourage discussions with employees and include them in decision-making. Not only does this help generate buy-in, but they may also suggest options that you hadn’t previously considered. Below are a few programs that employers may also want to consider if they’ve not already done so:

EI Work-Sharing Program

Work-Sharing (WS) is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer.

  • The program provides Employment Insurance (EI) benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers.
  • Work-Sharing is an agreement between employers, employees and the Government of Canada.

Lay offs

A temporary layoff is when an employee earns less than 50% of their regular weekly wages (averaged over the previous eight weeks that they worked), with the plan that the employee will return to a regular work schedule.

  • Layoffs are not automatic. Employees must agree to be laid off or layoffs must be part of the employment contract. If an employee doesn’t agree to the layoff, it may be considered a termination of employment.
  • If the employee won’t be returning to work, the layoff is a termination of employment.
  • If an employee is laid off, they’re still considered to be employed. Any benefits and entitlements (including vacation and leaves of absence) are protected.
  • Laid off employees may choose to file for Employment Insurance (EI).

Employment Insurance (EI)

Employees who are laid off, may want to apply for EI. Depending on each individual’s situation, they may or may not qualify for regular EI benefits.

New EI Benefits:

  • Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) – Provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) – Provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

  • If employers have not previously needed or applied for CEWS, they may want to consider doing so.

If you have any questions regarding these programs or require any other human resources-related support for your team, please contact go2HR via phone: 250-469-1032, email: or visit our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions webpage. go2HR is the health and safety and HR association for BC’s tourism and hospitality industry.