Your business and COVID-19 in Manitoba
Public health measures & restrictions
Current business restrictions
Effective March 15, 2022, all restrictions, including capacity limits, gathering size limits, proof-of-vaccination requirements, and the mask mandate have been eliminated.
For more information:
You can also call CFIB at 1-888-234-2232 or email email@example.com.
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 the 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.
WS&H and employment standards/Labour legislation changes
Pandemic Sick Leave Program:
The Manitoba Pandemic Sick Leave program provides employers with up to $600 per employee for up to five full days of COVID-19 related sick leave, which do not have to be taken consecutively. Eligible sick leave related to COVID-19 includes testing, vaccinations and side effects, self-isolation due to COVID-19 symptoms, or care for a loved one in any of the previously mentioned circumstances. Learn more on the Government of Manitoba's website.
COVID-19 Vaccination Leave:
Effective May 12th, 2021, Manitoba employees are eligible for paid leave to get vaccinated. Under the new rules, employers must pay employees for up to three hours needed to receive their vaccination during their regularly scheduled work week. Employers may access the Manitoba Paid Sick Leave Program to help recover costs of this time off. Employers can learn more on the Government of Manitoba’s website.
Public Health Emergency Leave:
Effective September 27, 2020, the Public Health Emergency Leave was expanded to provide job-protected unpaid leave to workers who must be absent from work because they have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatment, or have other illnesses that make them more susceptible to COVID-19.
As of March 15th, 2022 employees will still be eligible to take the Public Health Emergency Leave under the following circumstances:
- the employee is under medical examination, supervision or treatment related to COVID-19;
- the employee, as a result of information or directions issued or provided by a health professional, is subject to self-isolation or any other measure that results in their inability to work;
- the employee is, in the opinion of a health professional more susceptible to COVID-19 because the employee
- has an underlying medical condition,
- is undergoing medical treatment, or
- has contracted another illness;
- the employee is absent from work as a result of the side effects from being vaccinated against COVID-19;
- the employer directs the employee not to work because the employer is concerned about the employee's exposure to others;
- the employee is providing care, support or assistance to a family member as a result of COVID-19, including but not limited to, school and daycare closures;
- the employee is directly affected by travel restrictions and cannot reasonably be expected to travel to their workplace.
Employers are not permitted to request a physician’s certificate or medical certificate to verify an employee’s eligibility to take the Public Health Emergency Leave and other protected leaves available under The Employment Standards Code during the COVID-19 public health crisis. You can learn more on the Government of Manitoba’s website.
Visit the Government of Manitoba’s COVID-19 Vaccine Webpage for the latest information on which residents are now able to book their vaccination appointment.
Some Manitoba businesses can access the Rapid Antigen Screening Program For Small & Medium‑sized Organizations. This program is offered in collaboration between the Government of Canada and Shoppers Drug Mart, and is available for a minimal cost.
The Manitoba government has made rapid tests available to eligible Manitoba businesses through the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. You do not need to be a member of the Chamber to access the tests. To learn more about eligibility and how to access the tests, visit their website.
o view services available for mental health help, Manitobans can visit the Government’s website.
These resources include:
Two-session virtual counselling by calling 1-844-218-2955
Every Manitoba resident age 16 or older can access to up to two free counselling sessions with a trained professional at Morneau Shepell. To book your first session, call toll free 1-844-218-2955. Counselling sessions can be held by video or telephone, as preferred. Sessions are offered in multiple languages.
AbilitiCBT: free and confidential online mental health virtual therapy
AbilitiCBT by Morneau Shepell is a free online virtual therapy program available to Manitobans age 16 and older experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety and depression due to the pandemic. It’s confidential and accessible from home on your computer, smartphone or tablet.
Can I force my employees to get vaccinated?
It may be possible to put a vaccination policy in place, or to make being vaccinated a condition of employment; however, it is important that accommodations are made for employees who cannot be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons. It is worth noting that terminating an employee for not getting the vaccine could lead to a claim of unfair dismissal.
Before implementing a mandatory vaccination policy, consider the following:
- Does the workplace serve a vulnerable population?
- What is the nature and duration of the employee’s contact with that population?
- Assess risk for different positions – you may want to avoid an all-employee blanket policy.
- Ensure the policy is clear and employees understand consequences for non-compliance.
It is strongly recommended you consult with legal counsel to evaluate the risk of a mandatory vaccination policy in your workplace.
CFIB has a template vaccination policy available to members in our Resource Library. Please note: due to the legal implications, our Advisors are not in a position to help customize this template. To customize it, you should speak with a lawyer.
Financial relief & government support
*NEW* Restaurant Recruitment Grant
The Manitoba Restaurant and Food Services Association (MRFA) is administering a new grant program with funding from the Province of Manitoba.
The Restaurant Recruitment Grant (The RR Grant) offers financial assistance through working capital grants of up to $2,000 to eligible applicants. Grants may be used to assist with costs related to recruitment of staff, and other similar initiatives which promote hiring of staffing within the restaurant industry and your business.
Learn more and apply by **April 15** here.
*Updated* Manitoba Pandemic Sick Leave Program
On December 13, 2021, the Government of Manitoba announced an extension of the Manitoba Pandemic Sick Leave program. This is a temporary program that is aimed at filling gaps in the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) for employees.
Announced in May, the voluntary program provides eligible employers with up to $600 per employee for a maximum of five full days (40 hours) of COVID-19 related sick leave. Eligible sick leave for the program related to COVID-19 includes testing, vaccinations and side effects, self-isolation due to COVID-19 symptoms or care for a loved one in any of these circumstances. These days do not need to be used consecutively, and can be claimed between May 7 and September 25. Employers who currently provide paid sick leave to their employees are not eligible.
Employers can apply after the end of their regular pay period (2 weeks), and direct deposit payments will be administered by Manitoba Finance on a weekly basis.
The program has been extended to March 31, 2022. Businesses can apply on the Government of Manitoba's web page on Manitoba Pandemic Sick Leave .
*NEW* Retrain Manitoba Grant
The Manitoba government is partnering with Economic Development Winnipeg and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce to launch Retrain Manitoba, a $12.5 million workforce skills development grant program.
Employers can apply for reimbursement up to $2,500 per employee up to a maximum of $75,000. Companies can be reimbursed for a range of in-person and online industry-recognized training courses provided by a third-party trainer, both inside and outside of Manitoba. Employers who have already paid for courses with start dates from April 1, 2021, to Aug. 31, 2022, will be eligible to apply for the grants.
Any Manitoba-based business, not-for-profit or charity of any size that has a valid business number and is in good standing with the Manitoba Companies Office is eligible to apply.
Applications will be served on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2022.
For more information or to apply visit the Retrain Manitoba website.