Happy holidays and thank you from our VP of public affairs: 2020 is a year that many of us are looking forward to leaving behind. But despite the challenges, you should be proud of your accomplishments. Together, we moved mountains to make sure that the people who are counting on us to get them the products and services they need, could continue to do so. Our VP of public affairs, Ron Vezina, has recorded a video message thanking employees for delivering on time, every time, no matter what challenges came our way. Watch the video streaming now on Connect TV and Connect and keep an eye out this month for more words of thanks from our senior leadership as we celebrate the season.
An update on the COVID-19 vaccine and what it means for Canadian Blood Services:
We are working to make sure that frontline employees are given recognition as priority individuals to access the COVID-19 vaccines in all jurisdictions.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is the body that advises all levels of government and establishes priority access to the vaccine. The NACI has provided preliminary guidance that “essential services” will have prioritized access to COVID-19 vaccine in stage two. Included in that group are donors and those who support blood and plasma donation.
We are currently working to understand what this guidance means. Our CEO has written to and spoken with deputy ministers across the country to advocate the importance of Canadian Blood Services remaining close to decision-makers at all levels of government; and the importance of frontline employees having priority access to the vaccines. Learn more about what this means for employees and donors on your COVID-19 employee portal.
2021 CPP and EI deductions in effect: New Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) deductions come into effect Friday, Jan. 8 — the first payday of 2021 for Canadian Blood Services employees. Ever wondered why your paycheck looks a little lighter at the start of the calendar year? If you have reached the annual CPP and EI maximums for 2020, you will begin 2021 with a lower net pay due to the restart of the statutory deductions. Visit Connect for more information about 2021 contribution maximums and how your payroll may be affected. For more information about income tax, CPP or EI, visit payroll deductions or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cyber safe gift guide: The holidays are a time of year when many of us are looking to purchase new electronic devices for ourselves or others. However, you may not know that these devices can collect more information than expected without the right safety protocols in place. Whether you’re giving a gadget, receiving one, or treating yourself these holidays — check out these handy tips from the federal Canadian Security Establishment to keep you and yours cyber safe this season.
In-person gatherings are not permitted at Canadian Blood Services: Canadian Blood Services has made a decision to not allow in-person gatherings or celebrations on site at this time, including but not limited to potlucks, holiday celebrations, team building activities, on-site in-person meetings and union gatherings. This includes gatherings in the break rooms and cafeterias — which should be used for eating only. This decision was made out of an abundance of caution to protect the safety of our teams and our essential operations. Employees working on site are reminded that cafeterias and breakrooms shouldn’t be used for socializing purposes. You should keep a two-metre distance from others at all times and are asked not to share food with one another to limit the spread of COVID-19. We ask for your patience and support for this decision; and we encourage you to find virtual ways to connect with your teams over the holiday season.
Question of the day: What will be the impact on donors once a vaccine is available? Will there be a deferral period?
In anticipation of the administration of vaccines, the Donor Selection Criteria Manual (DSCM) working group has conducted a review of the vaccines under development and have determined these will not impact donation eligibility (deferral will not be required). This information has been updated for donors on blood.ca.
It is still unknown if there may be side effects with the vaccines which may impact donors such that they may not feel well enough to donate.
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