Today the Government of Saskatchewan announced a number of actions that aimed to assist Saskatchewan businesses cope with the impact of Covid-19 and the provincial state of emergency.
Reliefs for Employers – Temporary Layoffs
The provincial government announced that The Employment Standard Regulations have been amended so that:
a. During a public emergency business will not have to provide notice or pay in lieu of notice when they lay-off staff if it is for a period of twelve (12) weeks or less in a sixteen (16) week period; and
b. If an employer lays off employees periodically for a total of more than twelve (12) weeks in a sixteen (16) week period, the employees are considered to be terminated and are entitled to pay instead of notice as outlined in The Saskatchewan Employment Act. In this case, notice will be calculated from the date on which the employee was laid off.
These amendments offer clarity and timely relief for business owners who have been facing the difficult decision of having to lay off employees but have been concerned with paying out substantial sums owed as pay in lieu of notice.
Three Month PST Remittance Deferral and Audit Suspension
The Government of Saskatchewan will now allow businesses to submit a request for relief from penalty and interest charged on their PST returns.
In addition, the provincial government has suspended audit program and compliance activities have been suspended.
Business Response Team to be Established
The Government of Saskatchewan also announced that they will be establishing a single window information webpage for businesses to access information on provincial support initiatives.
The provincial government will create a Business Response Team that will work with businesses to identify additional program supports that may be applicable to businesses.
With these measures the Government of Saskatchewan has announced the latest policy action to the continuing Covid-19 crisis. More actions by both the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan are likely to follow in the weeks and months ahead.