Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation, impacting organizations across North America and the world. This page is your guide to the latest government and workplace resources so you can help navigate your organization through this time of uncertainty.

​International Foundation Resources

  • OFFER EXTENDED!—Become a VIP Member!

    OFFER EXTENDED!—Become a VIP Member!

    ​Members have more time to decide! Join or renew 2021 membership by October 31, 2020 receive FREE ACCESS to all 2020 virtual conferences

  • Virtual Conference—66th Annual Employee Benefits Conference

    Virtual Conference—66th Annual Employee Benefits Conference

    ​We are thrilled to announce the Annual Conference has gone VIRTUAL! Register today to join us this November.

  • Online Workshop—Change Management Workshop

    Online Workshop—Change Management Workshop

    ​Register to join us December 3-4, 2020 to learn how to effectively manage change!

  • Virtual Conference—Public Employee Benefits Institute

    Virtual Conference—Public Employee Benefits Institute

    Register today join our first-ever Public Employee Benefits Institute virtual conference, December 8-10, 2020!

  • OFFER EXTENDED!—Become a VIP Member!

    OFFER EXTENDED!—Become a VIP Member!

    ​Members have more time to decide! Join or renew membership for 2021 by October 31, 2020 receive FREE ACCESS to all 2020 virtual conferences

  • Canadian Employer Outlook: Benefit Strategies for the Future

    Canadian Employer Outlook: Benefit Strategies for the Future

    ​Join us October 14-16 & 21-23, 2020. Register today to ensure your organization is ready for the future

  • Online Workshop—Change Management Workshop

    Online Workshop—Change Management Workshop

    ​Register to join us December 3-4, 2020 to learn to effectively manage change!

  • Virtual Event—Canadian Investment Institute

    Virtual Event—Canadian Investment Institute

    ​Register today to join us November 23-25, 2020 to keep current on the most recent trends in Canadian pensions


Government Resources

Due date postponed to January 15, 2021 for reporting and payment of excise taxes relating to minimum required contributions [IRS Announcement 2020-17]
Health Plans: Guidance on HIPAA and Contacting Former COVID-19 Patients About Plasma Donation [HHS Office for Civil Rights]
HIPAA and COVID-19 [HHS Office for Civil Rights]
Special Funding and Benefit Limitation Rules for Single-Employer DB Plans Under the CARES Act [IRS Notice 2020-61]
Guidance on Waiver of 2020 Required Minimum Distributions Under the CARES Act [IRS Notice 2020-51]
Coronavirus-Related Distributions and Loans from Retirement Plans Under the CARES Act [IRS Notice 2020-50]

CARES Act FAQs for Single-Employer Plan Sponsors [PBGC]

Extended Due Date for Inclusion of Prior Year Contributions [PBGC Technical Update 20-2]

Guidance on Returning to Work [OSHA]

Medical Loss Ratio Form and Rebates Relaxed Enforcement in Response to COVID-19 [CMS]

Mid-Year Reductions or Suspensions of Contributions to Safe Harbor Plans [IRS Notice 2020-52]

Temporary Relief from the Physical Presence Requirement for Spousal Consents Under Qualified Retirement Plans [IRS Notice 2020-42]

Administrative Relief: Deadlines Applicable to Employment Taxes, Employee Benefits, and Exempt Organizations Affected by Pandemic [IRS Notice 2020-35]

Employer Leave-Based Donation Programs to Aid Victims of the COVID-19 [IRS Notice 2020-46]

Coronavirus-Related Relief for Retirement Plans and IRAs [IRS]
COVID-19 Employer Information for Office Buildings [CDC]

COVID-19 Guidance on Section 125 Plan Mid-Year Changes and High Deductible Health Plans [IRS Notice 2020-29]

Coronavirus Tax Relief [IRS]

Guidance and Relief for Employee Benefit Plans Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak [EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01]

Extension of Certain Time Frames for Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, andBeneficiaries Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak Final Rule [DOL & IRS]

COVID-19 FAQs for Participants andBeneficiaries: ERISA Rights & Responsibilities [DOL]

FAQs on Essential Health Benefit Coverage and the Coronavirus [CMS]

High Deductible Health Plans and Expenses Related to COVID-19 [IRS Notice 2020-15]

What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws [EEOC]

Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus [OSHA]

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 [OSHA]

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) [CDC]

Resources for Businesses and Workplaces  [CDC]

Coronavirus (COVID-19) [CDC]

Federal Government Resources

COVID-19 Health and Safety Resources [Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety]

Backgrounder: Extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy [Government of Canada]

Backgrounder: The COVID-19 Response Measures Act [Government of Canada]

Safe Restart Agreement [Government of Canada]

CRA and COVID-19: Information for Employers [Canada Revenue Agency]

Supporting Canadians Through the Next Phase of the Economy Re-opening: Increased Access to EI and Recovery Benefits [Employment and Social Development Canada]

Government Introduces Draft Regulations Providing Relief for Registered Pension Plans [Department of Finance]

COVID-19 Measures – FAQs for Federally Regulated Private Pension Plans [OSFI]

Questions and Answers on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit [Government of Canada]

Backgrounder: Support to Canadians and businesses affected by COVID-19 [Government of Canada]

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) [Government of Canada]

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan [Government of Canada]

OSFI Actions to Address Issues Stemming from COVID-19 [OSFI]

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) [Health Canada]

COVID-19 Spring 2020 Notices [Employment and Social Development Canada]

Provincial Government Resources 

Ordering of measures to protect the health of the population amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation [Government of Québec]

Draft Regulation: Measures related to supplemental pension plans to reduce the consequences of the public health emergency declared on 13 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic [Government of Québec]

COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces (Businesses and Organizations) [Ontario Ministry of Health]

Temporary Relief Measures Help Support Stability and Sustainabilty of Ontario’s Employers [FSRA Ontario]

Ontario Extends Support for Employers and Employees Impacted by COVID-19 [Government of Ontario]

Develop your COVID-19 workplace safety plan [Government of Ontario]

Pension Sector Emergency Management Response [FSRA Ontario]

Support for Nova Scotians, businesses and health care [Government of Nova Scotia]

GNWT extends NWT Wage Top Up program for low income workers through September [Government of Northwest Territories]

Back to Work in Manitoba Wage Subsidy Program [Government of Manitoba]

COVID-19: Relief Measures for Pension Plans in British Columbia [BC Financial Services Authority]

EPPA Update 20-04 - Additional COVID-19 Relief Measures [Alberta Superintendent of Pensions]

EPPA Update 20-03 - Additional COVID-19 Relief [Alberta Superintendent of Pensions]

EPPA Update 20-01: COVID-19 Relief Measures [Alberta Superintendent of Pensions]


Provincial Health Websites

Workplace Resources

Manitoba Announces Proposed Expansion of the Public Health Emergency Leave [MLT Aikins]

The End of CERB – The New Recovery Benefits and Temporary EI Changes [Hicks Morley]

Important Updates Regarding the Extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) [Hicks Morley]

Can a Québec employer force employees to get the future COVID-19 vaccination? [Borden Ladner Gervais]

Leaves, Layoffs and Terminations: COVID’s Impact on Ontario’s Workplaces [Siskinds]

Return to Work: Managing Employee Reluctance and Refusals [Blaney McMurtry]

Employees Working From Home: Who Bears the Expense? [Lawson Lundell]

Ontario, Canada: Employers Must Screen Workers and Essential Visitors for COVID-19 [Littler]

Masking the Problem: Perspectives on Employee Refusal to Wear a Mask at Work [CCPartners]

Tax implications for employers whose employees work remotely from a different province [McCarthy Tetrault]

Return to the Workplace: A psychological toolkit for heading back to work [Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario]

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Redesigned: Flexibility and Relief for Employers in the Months Ahead [Stikeman Elliott]

Playing it Safe: Employer Obligations When Working from Home [McInnes Cooper]

Pandemic check: face covering requirements for federally regulated employers in Canada [Norton Rose Fulbright]

COVID-19 and Work Refusals as Canada Reopens: Legal and Practical Considerations [Littler]

COVID-19 and the Workplace: Remote Working Legal Considerations and Recommendations [Aird Berlis]

The Employer’s COVID-19 Return to the Workplace Playbook [Osler]

FAQ’s: COVID-19 and the Workplace [Mathews Dinsdale]


Health Plans

Managing Health & Welfare Plans During Restructuring [Proskauer]

COVID-19 Guidance and Switching COBRA Vendors [Hub International]

COVID-19 and Private Health InsuranceCoverage: FAQs [Congressional Research Service]

Administering COBRA Notices in a COVID-19 World of Extended Deadlines [HR Daily Advisor]

HHS Extends National Public Health Emergency [Mercer]

Additional guidance on COVID-19 diagnostic testing coverage mandate [Buck]

COBRA Coverage – FAQ for the COVID-19 Economy [Mintz]

COBRA in the Time of COVID-19 [Foley & Lardner]

Employee Benefit Changes Under the CARES Act [Thompson Coburn] 
Employer health plans have to meet new COVID-19 coverage mandate [Mercer]

New Coronavirus Legislation and Its Impact on Health Plans [Quarles & Brady]

New IRS Guidance on Mid-Year Safe Harbor Suspension During COVID-19 [Morgan Lewis]

Leave Donation Programs for COVID-19 [Groom]

COVID-19: Life and Disability Insurance Coverage [Barclay Damon]

CARES Act Brings Compensation, Benefits, and Payroll Tax Changes [Morgan Lewis]

Dependent Care Assistance Programs & COVID-19 [GCG Financial]


COVID-19 Resources for Employers [Mercer]

Director-General declares the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic [WHO]

Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19 [WHO]

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic [WHO]

Back to Business: Checklist for Multinational Employers [Mayer Brown]

International Employment Challenges Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic [Epstein Becker Green]

COVID-19 Global Employer Guide [Baker McKenzie]

Retirement Plans

The Price of Not Paying the Price: Employers Deferring Pension Contributions Face Other Restrictions [Blakes]

Ontario Introduces Temporary Funding Relief for Defined Benefit Pension Plans [Hicks Morley]

What investing concerns are keeping pension plan sponsors up at night? [Benefits Canada]

COVID-19: Pensions Regulatory Updates Across Canada [Blakes]

New Temporary Relief Measures for Supplemental Pension Plans in Quebec [Blakes]

How are pension plans conducting due diligence amid physical distancing? [Canadian Investment Review]

Department of Finance Announces Additional Relief Measures Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic [Bennett Jones]

Practical considerations in pension plan administration during COVID-19 [Borden Ladner Gervais]

Pension Regulatory Guidance and Measures Related to COVID-19 Pandemic (Updated) [Bennett Jones]

Other Benefit Plans 

CRA letting employers reimburse home office furniture tax-free during Covid-19 [Investment Executive]

Pension plan sponsors advised to stress test as regulators shift focus to second wave [Benefits Canada]

Canada’s New Employment Measures Look to Address COVID-19 Effects [Blakes]

Canada COVID-19 Related Leaves of Absences and Income Replacement Benefits [The Larkin Company]

Quebec Implements a Protective Measure for Employees Who are Absent from Work to Self-Isolate Due to COVID-19 [Stikeman Elliott]

Ontario Extends the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave and Delays Layoffs under the ESA until January 2, 2021 [Bennett Jones]

Canadian employers enhancing well-being programs in response to pandemic: survey [Benefits Canada]

How can employers support staff with children during pandemic schooling? [Benefits Canada]

Don’t Get Schooled: Know How to Address Requests for Leaves and Accommodation in this COVID-19 School Year [CCPartners]

Details of Extensive Changes to Employment Insurance and New Income Support Benefits Announced [Hicks Morley]

Pandemic will fundamentally change benefits, pension plans: consultants [Benefits Canada]

Carry Forward of Health Care Spending Account Credits Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic [Bennett Jones]

Cross-Country Review of New Leaves of Absence Created in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis [Littler]


Global/Multinational Resources

COVID-19: Back to Work Guide for International Employers [FordHarrison]

COVID-19 Resources for Employers [Mercer]

Back to Business: Checklist for Multinational Employers [Mayer Brown]

What does the Covid-19 pandemic mean for international benefit strategies? [Employee Benefits Co UK]

International Employment Challenges Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic [Epstein Becker Green]

Covid-19 Watch: Confusion [Alan Whiteside]

Director-General declares the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic [WHO]

Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19 [WHO]

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic [WHO]

COVID-19 Global Employer Guide [Baker McKenzie]