This week’s town hall recording is now available
Employees who were unable to attend Wednesday’s town hall can now access the recording of the event on our COVID-19 employee portal. Tune in to hear the latest updates on wellness offerings and employee supports, COVID-19 safety measures and how our inventory is faring as we navigate this latest phase of the pandemic.
Thank you to everyone who submitted questions for this session. We had a high volume of pre-submitted and live questions and just didn’t have enough time to answer them all. We will continue to provide responses to outstanding questions in future installments of Your Digest.
We also invite you to share your views on our latest townhall by completing this three-minute anonymous survey. Your feedback will help us improve on and plan for future live events.
Donor vaccination now encouraged at select sites
We are currently exploring the possibility of implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for donors. As such, we have decided to take a phased, incremental approach by testing specific messaging at four of our sites. Starting this week, donors in Red Deer, Alta, Sudbury Ont., Moncton, N.B. and Saint John, N.B., have seen posters and received email notifications that encourage only vaccinated donors to enter our sites. We will not require donors to provide proof of vaccination at these sites and we will not turn away unvaccinated donors at this time. We will closely monitor these test sites and this approach to ensure it will not put undue pressure on our inventory. Once we gather feedback from these sites, we will assess and make any necessary adjustments before rolling out a potential national plan.
Employees with questions or concerns are asked to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. If donors have questions, they should be directed to 1-888-2DONATE or email@example.com. Learn more about this initiative on Connect.
Adding a new layer of safety to blood products
Every blood donation we receive is tested for specific infectious disease agents (pathogens) known to be transmissible through blood. To further safeguard our blood supply, we are consistently trying to make improvements to our processes. We’re pleased to announce the launch of our first pathogen-reduced fresh blood product. Pathogen inactivation technologies offer broad-spectrum treatment against potential pathogens (bacteria, viruses and parasites) within blood and blood products. This new-to-Canada technology targets and damages genetic material using ultraviolet light, stopping the pathogen from being able to cause illness. Pathogen-reduced platelets are set to be deployed to hospitals served by our Ottawa production site starting Jan. 17, with a national roll-out to follow. Learn more about pathogen inactivation at Canadian Blood Services on Connect.
Question of the day: What do I need to know about claiming home office expenses for 2021 when doing my taxes?
For the 2021 tax year, Canadian Blood Services employees working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be able to claim up to a maximum of $500 for their home office expenses, as announced in the federal government’s 2021 Economic and Fiscal Update.
For 2020, employees were able to claim two dollars per day that they worked from home, up to a maximum amount of $400. This lower flat rate took into account that most employees were not mandated to work from home until March 2020.
Because remote work arrangements have continued well into 2021 and will likely continue into 2022, the federal government will extend the simplified rules for deducting home office expenses and increase the temporary flat rate to $500 annually.
These rules will apply to the 2021 and 2022 tax years. If you will be claiming the $500 exemption, you will not require a T2200 to be eligible for the work-from-home expense claim.
More information can be found here: CRA Work From Home or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Your Digest
This digest highlights the latest policy and employee support measures, resources to help you manage our new reality and original content to remind us that what we do matters. This information 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 email@example.com.