Thank you for participating in Bell Let’s Talk:
Thank you to everyone who took time yesterday to join us for Bell Let’s Talk Day — and particularly those of you who came forward with your questions and comments about your experience with mental health. Using conversation to break stigma around mental well-being is more important than ever not only in our personal lives, but as an organization. Your insights into different areas of mental health in the workplace, including the use of mental health days, burnout, issues with your leaders and fears around taking time away to care for your well-being are incredibly important.
We encourage you to continue these conversations with your colleagues, friends and family to raise awareness, learn how to support one another and break down stigma attached to mental health challenges. We also encourage you to send any additional questions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive guidance and resources for further support. For those of you who couldn’t join us live, recordings will be made available early next week through Connect and Your Digest.
Your 2020 T4 is now available on EDA: With 2020 now behind us, it’s time to start compiling the documents we need to complete our 2020 annual tax return. An important part of this process is knowing how to access your 2020 T4 with Canadian Blood Services. Your T4 statement(s) are now available through Employee Direct Access (EDA). Accessing this document is quick and easy. Learn more on Connect and reach out to HR services through the “HR Helps” app on Connect if you have questions.
Claiming home office expenses for the 2020 tax year: To accommodate the high number of Canadians who made the switch to remote work in 2020, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced changes in the process of issuing T2200’s for employees. Canadians conducting work from home have the option to use a new temporary flat rate method to simplify claiming the deduction for home office expenses for the 2020 tax year. You are eligible to use this new method if you worked more than 50 per cent of the time from home for a period of at least four consecutive weeks in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can claim $2 for each day you worked from home during that period plus any additional days you worked at home in 2020 due to the pandemic. The maximum you can claim using the new temporary flat rate method is $400 (200 working days) per individual. By using the simplified method, a T2200 would not be required to claim home office expenses. More information on this can be found on Connect.
Performance management — looking back and planning ahead: While individual and team goals evolve every year, COVID-19 forced many of us to adjust our priorities on the fly. As we head into our last quarter, it’s important that we reflect on the work that was done over the last year and start planning ahead for the next fiscal year. Head over to Connect for helpful reminders, dates and tools to help you stay on track with our performance management process. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to email@example.com or your HR support representative through HR services.
Latest study results show upward shift in COVID-19 prevalence: Earlier this week, we reported that the latest results were in from Canadian Blood Services’ seroprevalence lab. We tested 17,049 blood samples from donors who gave blood in November and found that 1.5 per cent of the samples contained antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19. While still a relatively low rate, this is a significant increase in prevalence from our May and June tests. The data also shows that the shift in prevalence has been greatest in Western Canada and confirms that racialized Canadians are more likely to have antibodies against COVID-19 than white donors (and the disparity seems to be widening over time). Learn more about the results and how they are helping inform decision-makers as they forge ahead through the next phases of the pandemic on blood.ca/stories.
Question of the day: With the different COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out across the country, is there a deferral period for donating blood or plasma after the vaccine is received?
Our Donor Selection Criteria Manual (DSCM) working group has conducted a review of the approved vaccines for COVID-19 (BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna), as well as those under development and determined they will not impact donation eligibility.
Meaning, no deferral is/will be required for blood or plasma donation at this time.
The DSCM working group is actively engaged and assessing the impacts of widespread vaccine availability on blood and plasma donation. They are also monitoring how other countries are managing donor deferrals, including the EU and the United States (FDA).
As the vaccine rollout is in its early stages, it is still unknown whether there may be side effects which may impact donors, including feeling well enough to donate. As more information becomes available, employees will be notified.
For more information on the impact of vaccines at Canadian Blood Services, visit blood.ca/employees/vaccines.
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.
Click here to read past editions of your digest.
Have questions? Check out blood.ca/employees or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org