Health / Safety Resources

COVID-19 Resources

Download COVID-19 Employee Guide

Lester Group is here to support you through the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand these are trying times and we have compiled some useful information and resources to help you better understand and navigate through. This page will be continuously updated as new information and resource(s) become available.

For the latest up-to-date information on EI benefits and The Government of Canada’s Economic Response Plan please visit:

Laid off due to work closures?

  • Apply for regular EI benefits
  • You will need to have worked a minimum of 700 hours within the last year – in order to qualify
  • You will need a ROE stating that you’ve been laid off from your employer in order to receive benefits
  • There is a standard 1-week waiting period after you complete your application (So you will not be paid for 1 week after your application is approved)
  • Apply online:
  • Call 1-800-206-7218 for more info

Unable to work due to self-quarantine?

  • Apply for EI Sickness benefits
  • You will need to have worked a minimum of 600 hours within the last year – in order to qualif
  • You do NOT require a ROE or sick note in order to qualify
  • The standard 1-week waiting period will be waived under these circumstances
  • Apply online:
  • Call 1-833-381-2725 for more info

Laid off and ineligible for EI?

  • Apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
  • A taxable benefit amount of $2000 a month for up to 4 months will be made available to:
    1. workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
    2. workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
    3. working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
    4. workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
    5. wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.

Please Note: This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.

The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The CERB is intended to cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. This benefit will provide workers $2,000 per month for up to 4 months. The government will start receiving applications for CERB on April 6th, 2020. Canadians would begin to receive their CERB payments within 10 days of application.

A few things to note with respect to eligibility:

  • A "worker" is defined as a CDN resident (over 15) who earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the year before their application from employment, self-employment, employment insurance maternity and parental benefits, and/or similar benefits paid in Quebec under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP), or a combination of these sources
  • Worker can apply for any 4 week period starting March 15, 2020 until Oct 3, 2020 ( for a max of 16 weeks )
  • Eligibility is restricted to employees who cease working (temporarily or permanently) for reasons related to COVID-19 for at least 14 days in respect of the 4 week period they apply for the payment AND they do NOT receive income from employment or self-employment (ie any amount), EI benefits, allowances OR other income as prescribed by the Regulations
  • The CERB benefit will be considered taxable
  • If any employee quits voluntarily, they are not eligible for the benefit

The government has advised that if you have stopped working because of COVID-19, you should apply for the CERB, whether or not you are eligible for Employment Insurance. For more information, please refer to the CRA website at:

What can you do now:

If you feel you are eligible for the CERB you will need to apply as an individual taxpayer through a CRA portal or on the phone with CRA. According to the CRA, this portal will be ready to accept applications April 6th. In order to access the CERB application portal you will need to register a ‘my account’ with CRA. Below is the link to the CRA ‘my account’ site. For those who do not have a ‘my account’ we strongly recommend you to complete the registration ASAP. The registration process will ask you for individual information. Specifically, you will need to provide information with respect to your personal taxes, so we recommend that you have your most recently filed personal tax return readily available. If you do not have a copy of your most recently filed personal tax return, please reach out to us and we will provide you a copy.

We will make every effort to keep you update to date on new developments on this and other COVID-19 related programs.

Do I qualify for Worksafe benefits?

  • WorkSafe benefits are NOT available for preventative measures or non work-related exposure.
  • Only file a claim for COVID-19 virus infection contracted through work-related exposure.
  • Call 1-888-967-5377 for more info


If you are a construction worker and you believe your job site is unsafe due to COVID-19 please call the Government of Ontario Health and Safety hotline at 1-877-202-0009

COVID 19 News Update

Attention all WCA and HCA Members

In the last few weeks, we have become entangled into some historical benchmarking events hopefully never to be experienced again all related the COVID 19 pandemic.

As a result, many Government agencies have mandated conditions which have likely already affected your business operations, and or they will be soon. Much of these conditions have been widely dispersed by the media already, but should you need to rely on any of this information to assist you in dealing with a client, staff or employees we thought a summary of the NEWS we have at large may be useful.

In this Special Edition COVID 19 News Update we will summarize the most recent Actions taken by Government agencies.

As an additional resource, we will provide a very thorough summary of employment related conditions provided to us by one of the Countries leading Employment Labour Law authorities Mathews Dinsdale, (via partner Wally Thornton) which you may each be encountering or are likely to encounter as the COVID 19 pandemic affects your Company and Employees.

As more information and actions are taken which may affect your day to day operations, we will pass them along.

Please click on the buttons below to read the different updates. Take care and stay safe.

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