Save the date — live Q&A with our CEO: Please join us on Tues. Dec. 15 1 p.m. ET for the next live townhall with our CEO. With over a week to go, planning is underway. Let us know what topics and questions are top of mind for you by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “TOWNHALL.” Join by clicking on the meeting link in your Outlook invite. We look forward to seeing you all there and to continue these important discussions.
Changes to mask requirements at Canadian Blood Services starting next week: Recently, PHAC recommended that Canadians wear three-layered cloth masks with one of the layers acting as a filter to provide extra protection against the spread of COVID-19. This recommendation, along with concerns about the increasing number of positive cases across the country has prompted us to consider updates to our masking policies for donors and employees.
Update to mask requirements in operational environments
Starting on Mon. Dec. 7, 2020 Canadian Blood Services-supplied surgical masks will be mandatory for all donors entering our sites. We are procuring, and are awaiting the shipment, of three-layered cloth masks to provide to donors who for any reason are unable to wear a surgical mask.
Employees working in operational environments should continue to wear surgical masks. Three-layered cloth masks are being procured for employees who have indicated to their manager that they cannot wear a surgical mask. We will transition these employees to three-layer masks once the supply has been received at sites.
Update to mask requirements in administrative environments
As part of a phased approach, in early January 2021 we will be introducing mandatory Canadian Blood Services-supplied surgical masks for employees working in administrative environments.
Upon implementation, we anticipate that supplied three-layered cloth masks will be available for employees who have indicated to their manager that they are unable to wear a surgical mask. To ensure consistency across our sites, employees will be required to wear a mask provided by Canadian Blood Services once the change is implemented.
For more information on these measures, visit blood.ca/employees/ppe. If you have further questions we encourage you to send them to the COVID-19 Program via email@example.com.
The COVID caregivers: Through the COVID caregiver series, your colleagues are sharing the challenges they’re facing, the steps they’re taking and how open communication can make all the difference. Today, we bring you a story from Betty Lawrence, a lab assistant in Dartmouth, N.S. and mother to a young daughter. Betty worked at Canadian Blood Services for 18 years before the pandemic hit. Read more on Connect about her journey of being a working caregiver. If you are struggling, please know there are resources available for your through the employee assistance program and the COVID-19 leave supports for employees.
Question of the day: Are home office expenses submitted through the $200 fund considered a taxable benefit?
We want to ensure that employees who are able to work from home receive the support they need to perform their work and maintain our operations. As part of the flexible and virtual work guidelines, employees working virtually are able to claim certain expenses, with reimbursement up to $200.
On Sept. 18, the CRA changed their position on office furniture being treated at a taxable benefit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meaning, that computer equipment and office furniture purchased by remote employees that is reimbursed by Canadian Blood Services will be treated as a non-taxable benefit. This applies to all items purchased after March 16, 2020, including desks, chairs, desk lights and ergonomic-type equipment such as monitor risers, footrests, and seat rests.
If you have already submitted an expense for office furniture, no action is required on your part. Payroll services will be reversing any taxable benefit entries that has already been processed on your pay prior to the end of the calendar year. All future expenses will not be treated as taxable benefit.
CRA hasn’t provided guidance on how long this policy will be in effect, so we encourage employees to submit their expenses for reimbursement before the end of December. Any expenses purchased/submitted after Jan. 1, 2021 may be subject to income tax. Find instructions on how to submit an expense on Concur by visiting our dedicated Flexible and Virtual Work page.
About your digest
This digest will highlight the latest policy and employee support measures, resources to help you manage our new reality and original content like articles and videos to remind us that what we do matters. No access to email? No problem — all this information and more can be found on blood.ca/employees from any device, no login required.
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Have questions? Check out blood.ca/employees or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org