Prince Edward Island eases restrictions on employers

Affected companies may still request assistance from province's support programs

Prince Edward Island eases restrictions on employers

The province of Prince Edward Island (PEI) has begun easing its restrictions after tightening them for two weeks due to a surge of COVID-19 cases. The easing of its curbs will allow the reopening of several businesses, including fitness facilities and indoor dining that are now permitted to operate by up to 50% of its capacity. Despite this, the province's Vax Pass programme remains in place for businesses and discretionary events and activities, according to the announcement.

This means that businesses will still need to look for proof of COVID-19 vaccination from their customers aged 12 years old and above. This covers restaurants, cafes, bars, casinos, movie theatres, indoor gyms, arcades, and bowling alleys.

"Only those who are fully vaccinated will be able to access these settings," it said. 

Meanwhile, corporate employees who can still perform their work remotely are still encouraged to do so.

"Employers should support and encourage staff to work from home when operationally possible," the government said in its guidelines.

Read more: Ontario businesses reopen today - here's what employers need know

Support for businesses

As the restrictions in PEI end as February comes in, the support programmes for businesses that were hit hard by the two-week shutdown may still avail support from the provincial government. This includes PEI's COVID-19 Wage Rebate for Impacted Industries, which provides a 25% wage refund on payroll for businesses of impacted industries from January 19 to 30.

"The rebate will be calculated at 25% of payroll costs to a maximum of $25/hour for PEI employees, including salary/wages and MERC’s (mandatory employment related costs)," said the government.

Employers need to provide the following requirements including:

  • Active Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Business Number
  • Estimated number of employees the business will be claiming
  • Description of business operations
  • Description of how the enhanced public health measures impacted the business
  • A monitored email address and contact information
  • Submission of the completed online application. 

Another of PEI's assistance programme is called the COVID-19 Small Business Support Grant, which provides grants to eligible businesses ranging from $2,500 to $7,500.

"The rebate will be calculated based on the businesses November 2021 gross payroll or gross monthly revenue," said the government's announcement.

Employers need to provide the following requirements:

  • Active Canada Revenue Agency Business Number
  • Validation of the November 2021 payroll and/or November 2021 gross monthly revenue, including one of the following documents based on the employer’s selection:
    • Gross Monthly Payroll:  Internal payroll expenses summary or written confirmation of November 2021 payroll cost from a professional external accountant.
    • Gross Revenue:  Copy of the business HST return, Internal Income Statement, or written confirmation of November 2021 gross revenue from a professional external accountant.
  • Description of business operations
  • Description of how the enhanced Public Health Measures impacted the business
  • A monitored email address and contact information
  • Business banking information, including a copy of a VOID cheque
  • Submission of the completed online application

To qualify for the programmes, the government said businesses need to have been affected by the heightened restrictions from January 19 to January 30. Applications for both assistance initiatives are accepted until March 21.

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