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HEALTH ALERT: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Construction


A new coronavirus is the cause of an outbreak of respiratory infections, now known as COVID-19. All British Columbians should be aware of the virus and how to prevent its spread. Unprecedented measures taken by government and business are causing this situation to change almost hourly. Here is information for ICBA members working in the construction sector (bookmark this page as we will be updating frequently).

Public Health and News Links

Information for Construction Employers

Legal Advice for Construction Employers

Government Aid For Employers

Both the federal and provincial governments are working on financial aid for employers – we are working the phones hard to share construction’s perspective. ICBA is a founding member of the COVID-19 Business Cabinet. Here is what we know so far:

  • Federal measures:
    • NEW 4/8 – Businesses will receive a payroll subsidy of 75% (The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy)
      • It is open to corporations, businesses, partnerships and non-profits – no matter how large or small
      • NEW 4/8 – Revenues originally had to be 30% less than same month last year. This has changed: monthly decline will have to be 15%, and businesses can choose to use January/February as reference period instead
      • The benefit will cover up to 75% of workers’ salaries on the first $58,700 earned annually
      • The maximum benefit will be $847 per week, per worker
      • The subsidy will be backdated to March 15
      • Employers must attest that they are doing everything they can to pay other 25%, although it’s unclear how this will be determined
      • It will take six weeks for this money to make it out to companies; there are business credit programs available
      • Applications will go through a Canada Revenue Agency portal, which will be up and running “within 3-6 weeks.” WATCH FOR DETAILS
    • NEW 4/8 – Businesses hiring summer students can claim a federal subsidy of up to 100% of their province’s minimum wage
    • GST payments can be deferred to June
    • Banks instructed to offer lines of credit of up to $40,000 to business, guaranteed by the federal government. Interest-free for first year, with up to $10,000 forgivable. WATCH FOR DETAILS
    • Economic Development Canada will guarantee up to 80% of operating cash flow loans negotiated with banks.
    • The Business Development Bank of Canada has upped its financing for entrepreneurs and employers during this crisis
    • Individuals’ AND businesses’ income tax filing deadline has been extended to June 1. Payments not due until September. Audits suspended until mid-April.
    • There are a series of existing programs that may be helpful
    • Guidance for workers on EI vs. the Emergency Response Benefit; Emergency Benefit applications HERE
  • Provincial (B.C.) measures:
    • Deferred payment programs for ICBC and BC Hydro. Hydro also reducing rate by 1%.
    • Employer Health Tax, PST, municipal and regional district tax, motor fuel tax, and carbon tax (all for businesses) filings and payments deferred until Sept. 30, 2020
    • 50% school tax cut for business and light- and major-industry property classes
  • Great list of help programs for businesses and individuals

ICBA’s Commitment to Our Members

  1. We are committed to helping you facilitate solutions in your company – we are already at work on the federal and provincial governments to do right by construction companies and the families who rely on them
  2. Our ICBA services – including ICBA Benefits and the Construction Industry’s Benefit Plan – continue and are as seamless as possible during this time

ICBA Benefits and the Construction Industry’s Benefit Plan/Hour Bank


If You Are Concerned You Have The Virus:

  • Use this self-assessment tool:
  • Call the COVID-19 hotline: 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) for non-medical advice
  • Call 811 for medical advice

Homebound? Try one of ICBA’s Online Courses

  • Kudos to our ICBA member companies who are using the ICBA online training options to keep their workers trained during shutdowns. Check out or talk to us at to see how we can help you with bulk course registrations for your workers (these are now open to all British Columbians). We’re in this together!
  •  ICBA has launched a series of free webinars at



Thanks for this timely resource. A great way to have our entire I industry on the same path.

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