We know that this is a difficult time, full of uncertainty. The information you need to run your business changes rapidly, and it can be hard to keep track and make sense of it all.
In order to relieve some of the pressure on small businesses such as yours, we are gathering all the information you need about government services and supports in Manitoba and putting it in this one location. We will continue working with governments to ensure additional relief measures become available for your business as the situation evolves.
Please check back regularly. We will update this page as more information becomes available.
Updated! October 19: The Winnipeg Metro Region Under Restricted (Orange)
Effective Monday, October 19th, the Government of Manitoba announced additional restrictions for businesses in the Winnipeg Metro Region. The Region remains under the Orange level of the province’s Pandemic Response System.
The province will the reassess following restrictions after one incubation period (two weeks).
- Indoor and outdoor gathering sizes: lowered from 10 to 5, in addition to members of a household
- Beverage rooms, bars, entertainment facilities, casinos and bingo halls: to be closed
- Restaurants/lounges: reduced group/tables sizes in restaurants from 10 to 5, and formally reduced capacity to 50%
- Retail locations and food courts: group sizes reduced to 50%, including lowering gathering sizes from 10 to 5 in common spaces
- Contact Tracing Log Sheets: required in many indoor settings, including theatres, museums, galleries, libraries and fitness facilities
- Gyms and fitness centres: capacity remains at 50%
- After-school activities and all sporting events: reduced the number of spectators to 25% of a site’s capacity
- Museums, galleries and libraries: capacity reduced to 50%
The province has provided additional clarifying information so far:
- Beverage rooms (attached to hotels) must close
- Tasting rooms (they are a unique hospitality venue license) can stay open
- Entertainment facilities have two subcategories:
- Live entertainment (like nightclubs) must close
- Entertainment venues (covers art galleries, concert halls, cinemas, convention centres, dance and spectator sports), the new capacity limits apply
The previous restrictions from October 7th and September 28th remain in place (see below). All previous provisions in place for all other sectors, not listed above, in the Winnipeg Metro Region also remain in place.
Additional information can be found here.
Effective on October 7th, there are additional restrictions for businesses in the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region which are licensed to sell alcohol:
- No sale or service of liquor may take place in licensed premises between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m.
- The operator of the licensed premises must ensure that all members of the public vacate the licensed premises by 11 p.m.
- Licensed premises must be closed for dine-in services between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- Staff must obtain contact information in writing from at least one person in each party attending the licensed premises and the licensee must retain this information for 21 days, after which it must be destroyed.
- The order does not prevent food from being sold from licensed premises after 11 p.m. for delivery or take-out.
- These orders impact the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region currently under orange and do not apply to liquor retail.
Effective on September 28th, the Pandemic Response System level for the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region will move to Restricted (orange), with new measures being put in place help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Masks will be mandatory in all indoor public places in these communities. This includes spaces in private businesses that are open to the public. Gatherings will also be restricted to 10 people, both indoors and outdoors (e.g. funerals and weddings).
These restrictions will remain in place for a minimum of four weeks (two incubation periods of the virus).
This includes the:
- City of Winnipeg;
- City of Selkirk;
- Town of Stonewall;
- Rural Municipality (RM) of Cartier;
- RM of Headingley;
- RM of Macdonald;
- RM of Ritchot;
- RM of Rockwood;
- RM of Rosser;
- RM of Springfield;
- RM of St. Andrews;
- RM of St. Clements;
- RM of St. François Xavier;
- RM of Taché;
- RM of West St. Paul;
- RM of East St. Paul;
- Town of Niverville; and
- Village of Dunnottar.
All other existing orders and rules for schools, child care, retail, museums, theatres and casinos will remain the same for the time being.
In addition to these measures, government and public health officials are consulting with the restaurant industry as well as bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, microbreweries and distilleries on steps that could be implemented to lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Additional measures may be put in place following these consultations.
For more information, please call CFIB today at 1-888-234-2232 or email [email protected]. You can also visit: https://manitoba.ca/covid19/restartmb/prs/winnipeg/index.html.
New! August 19: Manitoba Announces Pandemic Response System
The Pandemic Response System has been introduced to share the current level of risk, provide public health guidance to Manitobans and explain the range of measures in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Manitoba.
The province will update the provincial response level in response to the spread of the virus and other public health indicators.
There are four levels:
Green: Limited Risk
The spread of COVID-19 is broadly contained and a vaccine and/or effective treatment for COVID-19 is available.
Transmission of the virus is at very low to undetectable levels between household and close contacts. There may be single or isolated small outbreaks, which are quickly contained. Community transmission is low to undetectable.
Community transmission of COVID-19 is at low levels.
Household and close contact transmission could be occurring in Manitoba. There may be single or isolated small cluster outbreaks which are quickly contained. Community transmission is low to undetectable.
Community transmission of COVID-19 is occurring. However, the virus is being transmitted at levels that public health and the health system can manage.
New clusters are more common, but can be controlled through testing and contact tracing. The health care system is able to manage COVID-19 case levels.
Community spread of COVID-19 is not contained and/or there are significant strains on our health care system.
The virus is being transmitted at levels that public health and the health system cannot manage. Extensive community transmission is occurring. There are widespread outbreaks and new clusters that cannot be controlled through testing and contact tracing. The health care system may be close to or over capacity.
For a detailed description of the four levels and what they mean to you, read Manitoba’s COVID-19 Response Level System Summary (pdf).
Updated: Manitoba Restoring Safe Services Plan
MANITOBA GOVERNMENT FURTHER EXTENDS STATE OF EMERGENCY: The extension took effect at 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 10th for a period of 30 days.
Do you have questions about how to safely get back to business as Manitoba’s economy reopens?
As the province started lifting restrictions to reopen the economy, CFIB developed tools and resources to help you get back to business and keep your staff and customers safe:
- Manitoba COVID19 Pandemic Operational Plan Template
- COVID-19: Manitoba Reopening Frequently Asked Questions
Manitoba has begun its multi-phased effort to gradually restore services while maintaining social distancing advice. Size restrictions of public and private gatherings remain in place. Everyone is expected to continue to follow social distancing rules at all times and stay home if they are sick. Some travel restrictions remain in place, including a requirement to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving to Manitoba if traveling from east of Terrace Bay, Ontario, or outside of Canada.
Visit Manitoba's State of Emergency Orders website for up-to-date information on restrictions for travel and gatherings.
Phase One of Manitoba's reopening plan began on May 4, Phase Two began on June 1, Phase Three began on June 21, and the Phase Four Plan on July 25.
NOT following rules according to Manitoba’s State of Emergency Orders can result in tickets for corporations of $2,542 and fines of up to $500,000 and/or up to a year imprisonment.
Do you have any questions or concerns about the plan to reopen Manitoba's economy? Contact CFIB at 1-888-234-2232 or [email protected].
Restoring Safe Services (Phase Four) - July 25
Items moving forward with more limited implementation on July 25 include:
maintaining current site capacity at 30 per cent for faith-based services, pow wows, but eliminating the need for sub-groups (cohorts);
allowing stage performances and opening movie theatres to a maximum capacity of 30 per cent of the site, up to a maximum of 500 people;
allowing casinos to open at a maximum of 30 per cent of the site’s capacity; and
allowing retail businesses, indoor recreation sites, personal services, and therapeutic or healthcare businesses to use non-permeable barriers when distances of two metres can not be maintained: changes include allowing closer than two metre/six foot distancing where a non-permeable physical barrier (e.g. Plexiglas) is installed. Occupancy levels will remain the same as in Phase Three. Requirements for self-isolating when showing symptoms and physical distancing continue.
The following proposed changes have been deferred at this time:
proposed changes to indoor and outdoor gathering sizes: Any changes to indoor and outdoor public gathering sizes have been deferred at this time. Phase Three public health guidance continues to be in effect.
relaxing of self-isolation requirements for those travelling from eastern and southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada: Any changes to travel restrictions have been deferred at this time. Phase Three public health guidance continues to be in effect, including 14-day self-isolation requirements for those traveling into Manitoba from eastern and southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
- walk-up counter service in bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, microbreweries and distilleries: Any changes to services at bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, microbreweries and distilleries have been deferred at this time. Phase Three public health guidance continues to be in effect.
Public health officials will review possible adjustments on a week-by-week basis and make any additional changes based on the public health situation at the time.
To view the updated phase four plan and to review public health guidance for businesses, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19/restoring/index.html.
Restoring Safe Services (Phase Three) - June 21
Following feedback from the public, the Government of Manitoba released the updated plan for Phase Three of Restoring Safe Services Plan with a start date of June 21.
Changes for Phase Three following public feedback include:
- removing the maximum capacity of 300 people at any site provided the gathering can be physically divided into sub-groups of 50 or fewer indoors or 100 or fewer outdoors, to a maximum 30 per cent of usual capacity;
- allowing people from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, and people living in the area of the northwestern Ontario (west of Terrace Bay) to visit Manitoba without having to self-isolate for 14 days;
- ensuring those travelling to northern Manitoba must continue to respect any restrictions that have been put in place by local communities and First Nations;
- lifting self-isolation requirements on a case-by-case basis where sectors propose and provide satisfactory plans to address public health requirements for necessary travel; and
- lifting capacity limits for restaurants, bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, microbreweries and distilleries, as long as tables and seating are arranged so there is a temporary or physical barrier, or two metres of separation between people sitting at different tables
The province continues to encourage businesses to take steps to help staff, customers and visitors stay safe including:
- ensuring people are able to reasonably maintain two metres of distance;
- only conducting necessary and brief exchanges within two metres of others;
- applying enhanced cleaning protocols, especially in common areas like washrooms;
- maintaining physical distancing and food-handling protocols in workplace areas including lunch and common areas;
- ensuring staff stay home when feeling sick; and
- following personal risk reduction measures.
- New guidelines have been proposed for permanent outdoor amusement parks;
- Limits for golf carts are proposed to increase to two individuals per cart (four golfers per group);
- New guidance has been proposed for indoor recreation, including non-smoking sites with VLT lounges, bingo halls, billiard rooms and other indoor amusement centres;
- K-12 schools, post-secondary institutions and vocational colleges can be open for staff and some specific programs. Staff can begin actively planning to re-open in the fall.
Detailed information on the plan for Phase Three, including service restoration and workplace guidance for businesses, can be found at www.manitoba.ca/restoringsafeservices.
Contact CFIB for information on this review process.
Restoring Safe Services (Phase Two) - June 1
Based on feedback from Manitobans and current public health data, the Manitoba government finalized the Phase Two plan and implemented measures effective June 1 to continue safely restoring services and opening additional businesses while ensuring physical distancing.
A number of operations resumed effective June 1 including:
- increasing child-care centre occupancy to up to 24 children plus staffing;
- increasing day camp group sizes to 24;
- resuming sports, arts and cultural activities for children and adults;
- lifting occupancy limits at outdoor recreation facilities and golf courses outdoors, as long as physical distancing can be maintained and allowing limited access to indoor spaces;
- allowing direct travel to northern parks, campgrounds, cabins, lodges and resorts while ensuring physical distancing;
- allowing public/private swimming pools, spas, fitness clubs, gyms and community/service centres to reopen with some limitations;
- reopening manicurists and pedicurists, tattoo parlours, estheticians, cosmetologists, electrologists and tanning parlours at 50 per cent capacity;
- allowing restaurants to reopen indoor spaces at 50 per cent capacity and continue to offer patio services at that capacity level; and
- allowing bars, beverage rooms, micro-brewers and similar businesses to operate patio service at 50 per cent of site capacity and to reopen indoor spaces at 50 per cent capacity.
The plan for Phase Two was revised from the original draft document, released May 21, based on input from the public and businesses, as well as additional input from public health officials. Changes include:
- The reopening of arts and cultural activities, such as dance, art and theatre
- clarifications on the opening of bars, beverage rooms, brew pubs, micro-brewers and distilleries to allow sites that do not serve food to open, as well as updated guidance from public health that all patrons must be seated at tables and stand-up service is not allowed; and
detailed public health guidelines for film productions.
No changes will be made to the requirements for reopening museums, galleries and libraries, and parks, campgrounds yurts and vacation cabins.
Additional information on Restoring Safe Services (Phase Two)
Restoring Safe Services (Phase One) - May 4
Critical public health measures and current travel restrictions remain. This includes mandatory self-isolation upon one's return to Manitoba and limits on travel to the north. Priority elective surgeries have restarted, diagnostics screening will resume and some non-essential businesses will be reopened:
- schools will remain closed
- non-urgent surgery and diagnostic procedures restored
- therapeutic and health care services restored
- retail businesses reopen
- restaurants - patio/walk-up services restored
- hairstylists and barbers reopen
- museums, galleries and libraries reopen
- outdoor recreation and campgrounds reopen
If results during or at the end of Phase One or any future phases are not favourable, the province will not proceed with further easing of secondary public health measures and may reintroduce others. If disease activity remains low, the government will give serious consideration to reducing the restrictions on group size.
Manitoba Government declared State of Emergency (March 20)
The Manitoba government declared a province-wide state of emergency under The Emergency Measures Act to protect the health and safety of all Manitobans and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Manitoba Government restricts operations of non-critical businesses in new public health order (March 30):
The chief provincial public health officer is issuing orders under The Public Health Act as approved by the minister of health, seniors and active living. The following measures will be in place as of Wednesday, April 1:
- Public gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people at any indoor or outdoor place or premises. This includes places of worship, gatherings and family events such as weddings and funerals. This does not apply to a facility where health care or social services are provided including child-care centres and homeless shelters. This remains in effect at this time under the previous health order issued on March 27, and will continue when this order comes into effect on April 1.
- All restaurants and other commercial facilities that serve food are prohibited from serving food to customers in their premises. This prevents eat-in dining at all facilities. However, restaurants and other commercial facilities can prepare and serve food for delivery or takeout. If this takes place, the operator of the restaurant must ensure that all people maintain the appropriate social distancing from other customers when picking up food.
All businesses that are not listed in the schedule of critical services that accompanies the order must close between April 1 and April 14.
- This closure order does not prevent these businesses from operating on a remote basis.
- A business may accept orders on the Internet, or over the phone for delivery or pickup, as long as the employees are not working at the place of business.
- The order does not prevent employees or others from coming into the business to perform repairs, to provide security services or to take out items from the business premises if the business is going to operate on a remote basis.
- All businesses listed in the schedule of critical services that accompanies the order may continue to operate. If these business allow members of the public to attend the place of business, the operator of the business must put in place measures to ensure that appropriate social distancing rules are followed.
For more information about the State of Emergency, see the Manitoba Government’s news release.
Help for your business:
Updated! September 14: The Manitoba Back to Work initiative is extended to December 31
The Manitoba Back to Work initiative, which provides businesses with a wage subsidy to help returning staff or new hires, has been extended until December 31. Through the Back to Work initiative, private-sector employers can receive up to $100,000 to subsidize 20 employees (up to $5,000 per employee) hired since July 16. Employers are now able to rehire students previously hired through the Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program, Canada Summer Job Program and Green Team Program. New start-up companies are eligible, providing they have a business number.
The new application deadline is December 31.
For more information and to apply, visit: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/business/btwmp.html
- Manitoba-based businesses operating in the province are eligible.
- Employers must possess an active and valid Business Number, business bank account, and e-mail address.
- Businesses must be registered, and in good standing with the Companies Office (not required for sole proprietors).
- Employer can hire 10 new employees under this program. Employers cannot receive funding for any positions that are already being subsidized by another government program. This includes, but is not limited to, the Canada Summer Job Program, Green Team, Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, Manitoba Back to Work this Summer Program and Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program. (This does not include the Federal government's 10 per cent Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers.)
The following employers are not eligible:
- Businesses are not eligible if they were in arrears for taxes owing to Manitoba on March 20, 2020 (i.e., before the state of emergency), and that have not since rectified this amount in arrears. (This does not include businesses that have deferred taxes as a result of COVID-19 relief programs to defer tax remittances.)
- Businesses that conduct multilevel marketing are not eligible, nor are passive businesses or corporate entities that do not exist for the purpose of carrying on an active business in Manitoba.
- Businesses that currently have an active Manitoba Business Start Loan Guarantee, a loan under the Manitoba Industrial Opportunities Program, or an agreement under The Community Revitalization Tax Increment Financing Act, are not eligible.
- Charities and not-for-profit organizations are not eligible.
- Public sector employers, including public health, educational institutions, and municipal/provincial/federal governments and agencies and political parties, are not eligible.
Employers are eligible to receive a reimbursement of 50 per cent of total wages actually paid between July 16 and October 31, 2020, to a maximum of $5,000 per worker. Payment will be made as a lump sum upon proof of payment of wages.
Updated! The Manitoba Gap Protection Program extended to October 31
MGPP provides an interest-free, forgivable $6,000 loan to small and medium-sized businesses that have experienced hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health orders. Loans are available to businesses that fail to qualify for the various federal government assistance programs and wage subsidies created because of COVID-19.
Eligible businesses will receive a one-time, lump-sum payment of $6,000, electronically deposited into their business bank account.
Permanent, Manitoba-based businesses that were operational in the province on March 20 (the date the Manitoba government declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19) are eligible to apply if they temporarily ceased or curtailed operations as a result of a COVID-19 public health order. Businesses must not have received federal government COVID-19 grant funding support, and do not intend to apply for and receive previously announced federal government COVID-19 non-repayable funding support.
Eligible businesses can submit online applications.
To apply online, applicants must have:
- a valid Manitoba Business Number;
- a Companies Office registry number;
- good standing with the Companies Office;
- Manitoba Workers Compensation Board and Manitoba Retail Sales Tax account numbers, if applicable;
- the sole proprietor’s social insurance number (SIN) as well as one other partner’s SIN (if the business is a partnership);
- business email address; and
- business bank account information for purposes of depositing the payment.
See the full form, a list of eligibility criteria and FAQs. If you need help,contact the Manitoba Economic Assistance Office at 1-888-805-7554.
The province’s goal is to provide a $6,000 deposit to eligible businesses within a few days after the application is submitted.
The application deadline for MGPP was extended to October 31, 2020.
Updated! June 26: The Government of Manitoba introduces a ban on commercial evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic
The Manitoba government introduced a temporary ban on commercial evictions as part of an effort to drive increased participation in the federal-provincial cost-shared Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program.
The federal government’s rent relief program has been set up to have landlords apply and work with their tenants to receive rent relief. Not all landlords eligible for this funding are applying, leaving tenants without an option to stay in their current leased commercial space. The CECRA program now runs until September 14, 2020.
It is hoped this measure will create an additional incentive for landlords and tenants to work together and apply to the CECRA, as well as keep businesses from closing or having to relocate during the pandemic.
The temporary measures have been introduced under The Emergency Measures Act and are consistent with initiatives in other provinces.
June 26: The Manitoba Job Restart Program
Applications closed on July 31, 2020.
The new Manitoba Job Restart Program will provide up to $2,000 of funding from the provincial government to eligible employees who stop collecting support through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Student Benefit (CESB) programs.
Employees will receive an initial payment of $500 plus three additional bi-weekly payments for $500 each, for a total of $2,000 over six weeks.
This is a voluntary-participation program, and there is no obligation for Manitobans to stop receiving CERB or CESB benefits if they choose not to participate. To remain in the program, approved applicants must:
- actively return to work in Manitoba to a job with at least 30 hours per week in order to be eligible for the first $500 payment;
- complete a simple declaration for each of the following two weeks certifying that they are still working at least 30 hours per week in order to receive the next three $500 payments;
- no longer receive CERB, CESB or similar COVID-19 related support from the federal government;
- follow Manitoba’s COVID-19 health guidelines in the workplace; and
- continue residing permanently in Manitoba and be legally entitled to work in Canada.
For more information about the program and how your staff can apply, visit: https://manitoba.ca/covid19/infomanitobans/mjrp.html.
June 22: Provincial payment and remittance deferrals
Payment and Remittance Deferrals:
April 3: The Manitoba Government announced immediate relief to Manitobans facing financial challenges by deferring a number of provincial fees and charges
As part of the Manitoba Protection Plan, the province is providing the following protections for the next six months until Oct. 1:
- instructing Manitoba Hydro, Centra Gas and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) to not charge interest or penalties in the event that Manitobans are unable to pay at this time;
- instructing MPI to relax ordinary practices on policy renewals and collections;
- instructing Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries not to charge interest on receivables from restaurants, bars and specialty wine stores;
- supporting Workers Compensation Board (WCB) to do the same and asking WCB to extend relief from penalties for late payments;
- directing Manitoba Hydro and Centra Gas to not disconnect customers during these times; and
- working with municipal partners to ensure municipalities do not charge interest on provincial education taxes and school division fees and the province is encouraging municipalities to do the same with respect to their own taxes and will start discussions to support implementation.
The government is also deferring provincial income tax and corporate income tax filing deadlines and payments to coincide with the current revised federal deferral of income tax to Aug. 31 and has indicated it would be willing to extend these deferrals until Oct. 1, should the federal government agree.
UPDATE! JUNE 22: Government of Manitoba extends RST payment deadlines
Manitoba businesses hit by the economic downturn from COVID-19 will have more time to submit provincial taxes. Retail sales tax (RST) returns for small and medium businesses with monthly RST remittances of no more than $10,000 per month that would normally be due on April 20, May 20, June 22, July 20, August 20 and September 21 will now be due on October 20, 2020. Businesses that file on a quarterly basis that have a due date of April 20 and July 20 will now have the due date extended to October 20, 2020.
Businesses that qualify for the above filing extension that were not able to file and remit their February sales tax return by the March 20th due date will not be assessed a late filing penalty and interest will not be applied until after October 20, 2020.
Interest will continue to apply on all outstanding tax debts established prior to the March remittance deadlines.
Businesses will still receive paper returns in the mail or web notice reminders by email for return periods March, April, May, June, July and August.
For more information, please see the Government of Manitoba's Tax Bulletin Notice RST 20-03.
UPDATE! JUNE 22: Government of Manitoba extends HE Levy payment deadlines
Manitoba businesses hit by the economic downturn from COVID-19 will have more time to submit provincial taxes.
Health and Post Secondary Education Tax Levy (also known as HE Levy) returns for small and medium businesses with monthly HE Levy remittances of no more than $10,000 per month that would normally be due on April 15, May 15, June 15, July 15, August 17 and September 15 will now be due on October 15, 2020.
Businesses that qualify for the above filing extension that were not able to file and remit their February HE Levy tax return by the March 16 due date will not be assessed a late filing penalty and interest will not be applied until after October 15, 2020.
Interest will continue to apply on all outstanding tax debts established prior to the March remittance deadlines.
Businesses will still receive paper returns in the mail or web notice reminders by email for return periods March, April, May, June, July and August.
For further information, see the Manitoba Government’s Taxation Bulletin Notice 20-01
June 5: The Canada-Manitoba Job Grant application
The application period closed on July 3, 2020.
The Canada-Manitoba Job Grant application intake is OPEN, for training that ends by March 1, 2021
COVID-19 related training is eligible for funding
Each application is assessed on its merits; not first come, first served. Funding is not guaranteed even if a company has been approved for a grant in previous years.
APPLICATION FORM FOR 2020 INTAKE:
The Canada-Manitoba Job Grant is an employer-driven approach to help Manitobans gain the skills they need to fill available jobs and to help employers develop the skills of their existing workers to meet the requirements of their present job, or to move into a better job.
Eligible employers may apply for up to $10,000 for each individual worker to assist with training costs. Employers that receive funding must contribute a minimum of one-third of the eligible training costs. With the maximum government contribution of $10,000, this means that up to $15,000 is available, per person, for eligible training costs.
For information on how to apply for the Canada-Manitoba Job Grant, contact the Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centre at 1-866-332-5077 or [email protected].
Workers Compensation Board (WCB) support
April 21: Workers Compensation Board on Manitoba returns $37M surplus to provide financial relief to employers
The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba is returning a $37-million surplus to provide financial relief to eligible employers. This is the second year the WCB has returned surplus funds while still maintaining the lowest assessment rate in Canada.
Eligible employers will receive a credit to their account based on 20 per cent of their 2019 premium, and should see this credit in their May statement. To be eligible, employers must have fulfilled their payroll reporting responsibilities for 2019 and paid a WCB premium in 2019. Employers can still report their 2019 payroll to receive the surplus distribution.
Of the $37 million, WCB expects $29 million will be returned to the private sector, with approximately $7 million going to small businesses in Manitoba.
Given the economic uncertainties, businesses may be challenged with cash flow and require temporary relief from their WCB payment obligations. In response, the WCB of Manitoba will:
- Defer premium payments until the end of May.
- Late payment penalties will be waived until further notice.
- Extend the payroll reporting deadline without penalties until the end of May.
- Ensure that coverage remains active for accounts that choose to defer. payments until the end of May. Clearances will remain in good standing.
Note: These dates may change as we continue to assess the situation.
Account registration and assessments continue
The WCB offices are temporarily closed to the public and we have transitioned the majority of our employees to work remotely, allowing us to maintain our core functions from a distance.
We encourage employers to leverage technology to improve the efficiency of our interaction; options include making premium payments online, website chat with an assessment account representative or submitting an email with an inquiry or callback request.
Change your payroll estimate
Businesses that are expecting to see a dramatic change in their payroll compared to what they initially reported to the WCB earlier this year can submit a revised 2020 payroll estimate to the WCB and this year's premium will be adjusted accordingly. The quickest and most effective way to submit revised payroll would be to send an email with your account number to [email protected].
Request deferred payments
Given the uncertainty of how long the pandemic will last, making a premium payment after May 2020 could still be difficult. The WCB will continue to monitor the situation and timeframes will change accordingly. If your business requires additional time to make a payment, WCB will work with you to discuss alternate payment options or deferring future pre-authorized payments.
Please see Manitoba WCB's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic FAQ for additional information.
For more information contact Assessment Services:
Email: [email protected]
Web chat: wcb.mb.ca/tell-us-about-yourself
Within Canada toll free: 1-855-954-4321, ext. 450
Manitoba Hydro support
If unable to make payments to Manitoba Hydro by the due date, contact them to make a payment arrangement. Arrangements can be made through MyBill, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 204-480-5900 or 1-888-624-9376. A credit representative will be help make a payment plan that fits your needs.
Manitoba Hydro has discontinued all service disconnections related to overdue accounts until further notice.
Employment Standards - Temporary leave changes
Manitoba Government announces temporary exception to Employment Standards layoff rules during the COVID-19 pandemic:
A temporary exception to employment standards regulations will give employers more time to recall employees laid off as a result of COVID-19. Under current employment standards legislation, employees who have been laid off for eight or more weeks in a 16-week period are deemed to have been terminated and are entitled to wages in lieu of notice.
After consulting with the Labour Management Review Committee, the province is making temporary amendments that would ensure any period of layoff occurring after March 1, 2020, will not be counted toward the period after which a temporary layoff would become a permanent termination.
This measure is temporary and specific to situations where employees will eventually be rehired once the COVID-19 crisis has subsided and economic activity picks up again.
The province will suspend the exception when the province begins to recover economically.
For more information, see the Employment Standards Backgrounder: COVID-19 - Temporary Amendments to Termination of Employment Regulations
Find non-medical PPE for your business
The Manitoba government has partnered with a number of business groups to launch an online marketplace to connect Manitoba businesses with non-medical grade personal protective equipment (PPE) and other materials needed for businesses to operate.
If looking to purchase PPE, visit online marketplace. You will need to create a free account or access it with your Gmail or Facebook account.
You can also visit CFIB's PPEs for SMEs Facebook group where businesses that need PPE can find other businesses who sell PPE.
FAQ on COVID-19
We’re dedicated to supporting your business through this difficult time. See the FAQs on the most common COVID-19 topics and stay up to date on the latest relief measures from the federal government. Visit our Small Business Help Center.