B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan builds on the federal government’s COVID-19 economic plan and boosts supports for British Columbians who are worried about paying their bills and staying afloat.
A new B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a tax-free $1,000 payment to British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected by the outbreak. The benefit will be a one-time payment for British Columbians who receive federal Employment Insurance (EI), or the new federal Emergency Care Benefit or Emergency Support Benefit as a result of COVID-19 impacts.
This includes workers who have been laid-off, who are sick or quarantined, parents with sick children, parents who stay at home from work while child care centres and schools are closed, and those caring for sick family members, such as an elderly parent. The workers can be EI-eligible and non-EI eligible, such as the self-employed. The benefit will be paid to B.C. residents, in addition to their federal income supports.
The plan also provides support for businesses which includes the deferral of employer health tax payments until September 30, 2020 for businesses with a payroll over $500,000. This is effective immediately. Businesses with a payroll under this threshold are already exempt from the tax.