Paul Martin, founding partner of Wilton Martin Litigation Lawyers, updates employment law issues as clinics and employees start to reopen from the COVID-19 mandated practice shutdowns.


About the Guest

Paul is a founding partner at the law firm of Wilton Martin Litigation Lawyers. Paul provides civil litigation representation and advice in a broad range of matters to both businesses and individuals, with a particular emphasis on employment/labour, commercial litigation, professional discipline and health law.  Paul devotes a large part of his practice strategizing with his clients to ensure that they avoid the litigation process altogether. However, when litigation is necessary, Paul will work tirelessly to protect his clients’ interests.

 


Episode Notes

Host Glen Chiasson explores hot button topics surrounding COVID back to work issues with lawyer Paul Martin (Wilton Martin Litigation Lawyers).

While the federal talking-point around 10 days paid sick leave is an apparent hot new button, Paul explains why the issue is not likely to be of any immediate consequence.

Paul delves deeply into the issue of unpaid leave and how the new “Infectious Disease Leave” provision impacts employers. He also suggests how this new provision may unfold as various legal interests start to challenge the regulation on behalf of employee clients.

They explore a number of legal issues around getting employees back to the clinic, including  the implications for practice owners wanting to selectively hire back employees. Paul discusses various scenarios around employees who, for any number of reasons, may not want to return to the workplace.

Throughout Paul articulates how the Employment Standards Act (Ontario) legal framework and common law framework apply to various situations, and underlines the need for sound employment contracts with every employee.

A great overview of labour legal issues as clinics re-open.

Resources

 

 

 

 

Dr. Glen Chiasson

Dr. Glen Chiasson

Dr. Glen Chiasson is a 1995 graduate of the University of Waterloo School of Optometry. He owns and manages two practices in Toronto. In 2009, he co-hosted a podcast produced for colleagues in eye care, the “International Optometry Podcast”. He is a moderator of the Canadian Optometry Group, an email forum for Canadian optometrists. As  a host of  “Eyes Wide Open”, Glenn  looks forward to exploring new new technologies and services for eye care professionals.

Dr. Chiasson enjoys tennis, hockey, and reading. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons.

Dr. Chiasson splits EWO podcast hosting duties with Roxanne Arnal.


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A live webinar, “Financial Advice for Turbulent Times brought financial and legal subject matter experts to provide information on the newly available federal government COVID-19 support programs and provide a perspective on the longer-term impact on practice value. The webinar was sponsored by BMO Bank of Montreal and ROI Corporation, Canada’s largest health professional brokerage.

Many questions posed by attendees are of interest to all practice owners. Below, we have recapped the key points and questions for the benefit of practice owners.

The Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) were the key topics reviewed.

The experts noted that both of these programs are very new.  The government announcements are made with high level bullet points that don’t often drill down into the necessary details that clarify the benefits.

The general advice to practice owners is to make the claims even if there is some uncertainty as to the eligibility or requirements.   If in doubt… SUBMIT THE CLAIMS.

 Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

  • The CEWS provides a wage subsidy of up to 75% of wages for retained employees to a maximum amount of $847 per week retroactive to March 15 until June 6.
  • There are two key eligibility factors:
    • Employers with an annual payroll of $50,000 to $1,000,000
    • Show a 30% year over year decline in revenue for the periods of March, April and June.

Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) 

  • The CEBA provides a $40,000 line of credit with specific terms and conditions.
  • Balance owing as of Dec. 31, 2020 is converted to a 5-year term loan until Dec, 2025
  • The is no interest until Juan 2023, and thereafter 5% interest
  • If 75% if the loan is paid back on/before Dec. 31, 2022 – 25% of the loan is forgiven
  • Apply to the CEBA through your principal business banking institution

 Q&A recap:

Can the CEWS be used to pay ourselves as practice owners?
So long as the practice owner is on the payroll it appears as though the CEWS applies. Employers will be asked to provide a summary T4 report for the year 2019 to provide evidence of payroll eligibility.

As a business owner am I eligible for CEWS benefit?
IF you are on the official payroll of the business, YES, otherwise, the rules are not clear. Individuals including self-employed and independent contractors experiencing loss of income due to COVID-19 should refer to the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program to check eligibility. https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

What if I have one employee and the annual salary falls just below the $50,000 threshold?
While technically short of the total annual wage eligibility, the advice is to apply.  The “rules” are fluid and may be adjusted in the future.  There is no harm in applying.

I hired staff before the COVID-19 crises and they did not start, is he eligible for the CERB?
This situation is not covered under CEWS.  We suggest to refer the person to CERB (see above). As written so far, he is not eligible for CERB, but as mentioned, the rules are fluid and subject to change.  

Are professional corporations eligible for the CEBA?
YES.

What other eligibility requirements are there for the CEBA?
As with the CEWS, business require to have an annual payroll of $50,000 to $1,000,000 to be eligible for this load.

As a business owner not on the payroll can I receive the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit and the Wage Subsidy?
You cannot “double dip” into these programs. If you are on the business’s payroll, the CEWS applies. IF not, you should evaluate the CERB.

 

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Paul Martin, founding partner of Wilton Martin Litigation Lawyers, shares his views on how health care professionals might approach labour issues  arising as a result of the COVID-19 mandated practice shutdowns.

 

 


About the Guest

Paul is a founding partner at the law firm of Wilton Martin Litigation Lawyers. Paul provides civil litigation representation and advice in a broad range of matters to both businesses and individuals, with a particular emphasis on employment/labour, commercial litigation, professional discipline and health law.  Paul devotes a large part of his practice strategizing with his clients to ensure that they avoid the litigation process altogether. However, when litigation is necessary, Paul will work tirelessly to protect his clients’ interests.

 


Episode Notes

Paul Martin shares his experience in dealing with employment matters in health professional corporation settings. He discusses the conflict between doing what business owners might want to do versus what they are doing given the financial realities of the COVID-19 shutdowns. He explains why the current situation is exceptional and what he is advising clients regarding staff layoffs. Martin outlines how the standard layoff provisions apply within the Employment Standards Act (Ontario) and what the consequences might be if layoffs are extended beyond the period defined in the Act.

Resources

 

 

Dr. Glen Chiasson

Dr. Glen Chiasson

Dr. Glen Chiasson is a 1995 graduate of the University of Waterloo School of Optometry. He owns and manages two practices in Toronto. In 2009, he co-hosted a podcast produced for colleagues in eye care, the “International Optometry Podcast”. He is a moderator of the Canadian Optometry Group, an email forum for Canadian optometrists. As  a host of  “Eyes Wide Open”, Glenn  looks forward to exploring new new technologies and services for eye care professionals.

Dr. Chiasson enjoys tennis, hockey, and reading. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons.

Dr. Chiasson splits EWO podcast hosting duties with Roxanne Arnal.


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Practice Advice for Turbulent Times

“When fishermen can’t go to sea, they mend their nets.”

 There are plenty of tasks related, and even essential, to the success of your practice. This quote reminds us of the importance of forward momentum, which in turn can ensure you return stronger than ever, ready to meet the challenges ahead.

Eye Care Business Canada have teamed up with BMO Bank of Montreal and ROI Corporation, Canada’s largest health care business brokerage, to provide a live webinar series that will help you make the most of these challenging times and help prepare your future.

We are offering complimentary educational webinars on three topics of particular relevance to these trying times, delivered by industry experts. Audience is invited to put questions to the speakers.

The Webinars will be co-hosted by Jackie Joachim, COO of ROI Corporation and Dr. Glen Chiasson, Host of Eyes Wide Open, a Canadian podcast for eye care professionals published by Eye Care Business Canada.


Keeping Employees Engaged and Motivated
The closure of offices has been a wake-up call for the importance of a strong culture. It is crucial that practice owners do not succumb to the panic. Employees look to their employers for leadership and model their behaviour, especially in times of crisis. The focus of this session is to help you keep your employees calm, engaged and informed. Practice owners will benefit from the tips and tools to keep their teams motivated while the office is closed.

Presenter:  Nava Sarooshi
Motivating teams to achieve results is Nava’s passion. She has run various workshops and consults with teams who are looking to achieve higher performance. Nava is also the President of MDP Corp, a temporary personnel placement agency.

Thursday April 2, 3PM (EDT)  

 CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW    


Managing the Practice’s Financial Health During Troubled Times
As a typical “black swan” event, COVID-19 took the world by surprise. Understanding the potential impact on the value of your practice and managing the financial risk associated with office closures is critical. This session will help you focus on the financial factors, especially as they pertain to the practice’s profitability and value.

Presenters:
Romal Bryce, Head of Healthcare Initiatives BMO
Romal oversees BMO Canadian Business Banking’s go to market strategy in the field of healthcare professional financing. He has been a financial services professional, primarily at Bank of Montreal, for 20 years He has held various sales, underwriting and risk-related roles in both retail and business banking.

Jackie Joachim, Chief Operating Officer for ROI Coporation
ROI specializes in assisting healthcare professionals in the Optometry, Dental and Veterinary spaces appraise and sell/transition their practices.

Monday April 6, 3PM (EDT) 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW


Key Legal Issues Affecting Practice Owners
This is the time to look at all the legal factors that affect your clinic. This session will discuss the importance of key documents such as associate and employee agreements, partnerships, incorporating and leases.

Presenter:
Artem Kobzev,  LLP Tax Chambers
Artem’s practice focuses on providing individuals and closely-held corporations with a broad range of legal services, including personal tax planning, corporate tax planning, estate planning, business succession planning and asset protection. He frequently works with owner-managers to develop and implement the strategies and structures that will enable them to meet their specific needs.

Wednesday April 8, 3PM (EDT) 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW

We look forward to e-meeting you at the webinars.


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