Businesses in BC are facing a new challenge as Omicron spreads rapidly through our communities, including workplaces. The province has re-introduced temporary restrictions and health authorities are continuing to assess the full impact of the new COVID-19 variant.
On Jan. 7, the province also ordered all businesses to reactivate their COVID-19 safety plans.
Employers are advised to expect a significant number of staff will be unable to work because of illness. As of Jan. 1, BC requires employers to provide five days of paid sick leave. The province has also stepped up its campaign for providing booster doses to everyone over the age of 18.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is calling on everyone to protect each other by doing the things we did earlier in the pandemic that helped reduce transmission. For example, businesses can encourage all employees to be fully vaccinated.
"This is not where any of us want to be, but we are also not where we were at the beginning of the pandemic," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams says. "We have the experience and tools to get through this wave, and we can make sure businesses are ready to return to regular operations as soon as possible."
The provincial government recently announced new financial relief for businesses forced to close due to the new restrictions.
The Chamber is currently reaching out to members to better understand what they need during this time. We encourage any member who needs help to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.