On May 15, the government released sector-specific guidance to help businesses and organizations develop their COVID-19 Safety Plans, following their announcement of the Restart Plan. Of note for most CPAs is the guidelines on operating in an office space.  

Guidelines have been released for various sectors, including restaurants, cafes and pubs; salons and personal services; museums, art galleries and libraries, real estate; education; health services; retail; in-person counselling; parks and outdoor spaces; and office space. Of note for most CPAs is the guidelines on operating in an office space.  

The COVID-19 Safety Plan must follow the six steps below:

  1. Assess the risk at the workplace;
  2. Implement measures to reduce the risk;
  3. Develop policies;
  4. Develop communication plans and training;
  5. Monitor the workplace and update plans as needed; and
  6. Assess and address risks from resuming operations.

More details are available here and you can also review the BC Government's checklist to prepare the safe re-opening and operation of your business.

The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade offers a toolkit to help guide businesses in reopening, including preparing workspaces, and accommodating employee and client needs.

CPA Canada has released an article, “Best practices to adopt before reopening your workplace”, with some helpful advice on how to safely and responsibly resume physical workplace operations. 

  • Access the BC Economic Development Association's live-updated COVID-19 resources and information document, which includes specific information for industries like agriculture, forestry, entrepreneurs, construction, tourism, technology, and etc.
  • Find the latest updates and information for individuals and owners on the provincial government’s COVID-19 support and information page.
  • Access the resources, and guidance necessary to navigate challenges from COVID-19 with  Small Business BC’s BC Business COVID-19 Support Service. Small Business BC also has a resource centre that provides the latest updates on government resources, as well as tips on how to create a crisis plan, prepare for business continuity, etc.
  • Visit the federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and BC government’s action plan to stay up-to-date on announcements that can affect your business.
  • Check the Canada Revenue Agency’s webpage for the latest COVID-19 related updates, including tax changes and filing deadlines.
  • CPA Canada Resources:
  • The Government of Canada’s Innovation Canada site is an online tool that helps business owners generate a tailored list of COVID-19 support and other programs and services.
  • Use the BC Government's checklist to safely re-open and operate your business or organization and reduce COVID-19 transmission.
  • Minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 as you prepare to re-open with WorkSafeBC's guide to COVID-19 and returning to safe operation and questions you should consider to prevent exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.
  • Understand when an employee can take unpaid, job-protected leave of absences related to COVID-19. The COVID-19 leave is retroactive to January 27, 2020. Once no longer needed, this leave will be removed from the Employment Standards Act.
  • Learn about the changes to employment insurance with regards to COVID-19 by visiting the Employment and Social Development Canada webpage.
  • Check the Service Canada website to verify office hours of in-person services. Consider using their online services which remain available.