As the lockdown is being lifted, businesses are gradually reopening. Until then, let’s take a look at some questions that have come up about temporary foreign workers.

Here are answers about frequently asked questions for organizations that have hired temporary foreign workers (TFWs) or planned on hiring TFWs.

I hired a TFW before the crisis and he’s still in his home country. What can I do until he arrives in Canada?

First off, contact your future employee as soon as possible to make sure they still plan on coming to Canada. If that’s the case, reassure them that the job they were hired for will still be available when they get here.

If possible, set a potential arrival date and coordinate travel logistics between his home country and Canada. You can also request to extend the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to give your employee more time to travel to Canada.

The goal is to maintain trust with your TFW and guarantee that they will be available when you need them.

I temporarily laid off TFWs who were working for me. What can I do to help them until business reopens?

Once again, communication is key. Keep in touch with your employees and keep them informed of your plans to eventually reopen. Since the borders are closed, your TFWs cannot return to their home country and they must continue to cover their needs during the unemployment period.

Let them know they’re eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and refer them to the website where they can submit their applications. This will ensure that your TFWs can cover their needs during the crisis and remain available when business resumes.

I want to rehire my TFWs after the crisis. How can I make sure they’re legally allowed to stay in Canada until then?

As mentioned above, your TFWs should stay in Canada during the unemployment period. So, they must maintain a legal status throughout their stay. If their work permit is about to expire, you have two options:

  • You can apply for a work permit extension for employees;
  • You can change their status to a visitor status.

In all cases, your TFWs must have a valid permit allowing them to stay in Canada.

I want to withdraw the job offer for which I had hired a TFW before they arrived in Canada. What’s the process?

Inform the TFW as soon as possible so they can make the necessary arrangements. Contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) to withdraw their work permit application.

In certain cases, if the work permit application hasn’t been processed, you could be eligible for a processing fee refund. Lastly, inform Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to have your LMIA application withdrawn.

Be proactive and establish clear and open communication with your TFWs. That way, you’re making sure your employees are informed of your decision and are available to come back to work as soon as possible, if needed.

Regardless of your situation, we recommend that you speak with an immigration expert who can help you make the right decisions and guide you throughout the process.

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The Grant Thornton International IFRS team has published Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on your 2020 deferred tax provision.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a tremendous impact on the world’s economy. Many businesses are struggling to stay afloat and doing whatever they can right now to rationalize costs and preserve any cash surpluses they have in order to bridge future cash flow needs. Around the world, governments are stepping in to try and limit the impact of the pandemic by providing financial support in numerous ways, from direct cash payments through to the deferral of tax payments.

This publication sets out four key areas of an entity’s tax provision that could be affected by the impacts of COVID-19. More specifically, it focuses on how government support in the form of tax incentives and tax relief might change previous assessments that were made applying IAS 12, Income Taxes. A key point to be mindful of is that any one of these key areas may be applicable if interim financial statements under IAS 34, Interim Financial Reporting, are being prepared.

Download the document below.

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ASPE-ASNFPO – COVID-19: Accounting Implications for Years Ended On or After March 31, 2020

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to have a significant impact on our economy, including consumption, production and supply chain disruptions. Despite encouraging signs, the business environment remains highly uncertain. Entities need to carefully consider the accounting implications resulting from this still uncertain situation.

This edition of Flash presents accounting implications and identifies key financial reporting areas that entities should consider when determining the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business and, on the results, financial position and disclosures in their financial statements prepared in accordance with accounting standards for private enterprises (ASPE) or accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations (ASNFPO). It also discusses the recent decision of the Accounting Standards Board of Canada (AcSB) to defer the effective dates of several amendments to standards in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Bad communication management—both internal and external—can directly affect your reputation and your company’s survival.

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, most Quebec SMEs have made it a priority to ensure they have enough liquidity to continue their business activities once government restrictions are lifted.

However, companies must have a sound communication plan in place to dust themselves off and restore or maintain their reputation with their stakeholders in the wake of a crisis. A business’ survival, and its employer brand, hinges on an effective communication plan.

Choose action over reaction

You’ve worked hard to grow your business. Now, more than ever, it’s imperative to ensure that your efforts are not undone by elements that could negatively impact your business reputation.

A good communication plan will keep you on track. Take action to protect your reputation and anticipate potential negative impacts. That way, you’ll be in better control of the messages you want to put out and help you restore your corporate image.

Your communication plan should take into account all of the parties involved in any way whatsoever with your business: employees, stakeholders, suppliers, clients, partners.

Each and every one of them has different expectations and needs. So, you should factor that into your communication plan. But first, here are some important things to know to ensure an effective rollout.

How to draft a communication plan

1. Review what you’ve done so far

Take a moment to review how far your business has come since the months prior to the crisis.

  • Did your company’s reputation suffer from the impacts of the crisis?
  • Is your relationship with your employees fragile?
  • Are there any risks of a decline in clientele?

Take the time to ponder the consequences—positive and negative—the crisis may have had on your organization.

2. Set your goals

Set your communication goals, taking into account the observations you’ve made.

3. Prepare your messages

Identify the messages you want to share with each stakeholder based on the goals you’ve set.

4. Develop your communication strategy

Develop a communication strategy to disseminate your messages to your target audiences.

5. Create your content

Prepare content that’s adapted to your target audiences.

6. Roll out your communications

Consider the changing post-crisis context when choosing your communication methods and channels.

7. Follow up

Track your communication results daily and weekly and make changes, as needed.

The contingency plan: an important asset

While we can’t predict the environment Quebec and the rest of the world will be seeing in the next months, you can still gather the tools your business needs to face all kinds of scenarios.

That’s why your communication plan should include a contingency plan that will outline different scenarios for different potential situations. It will help you figure out what you need to do in each scenario.

A contingency plan will allow you to be in control of the situation in the event of an emergency and to minimize potential negative consequences.

Responsible corporate citizens

A business’ contribution to society is particularly significant during and after a crisis. Over the past few weeks, organizations have donated masks to the authorities. Essential businesses have put measures in place to protect their employees and some businesses have offered coffee, food or gas discounts to those working in emergency and healthcare services. A number of initiatives have come out during this crisis.

Those initiatives cost money but they truly highlight how important it is for businesses to act as responsible corporate citizens and to contribute to the well-being of the community. Every little gesture can greatly influence an organization’s image and reputation and, ultimately, your employer brand. So, businesses should continue to contribute to society and make sure that this is an integral component of their communication plan.

We want to ensure you’re able to resume and continue your business activities; that’s why our team of experts has launched Solutions for SMEs. Let us put our vast experience to work for you and help you develop an effective, personalized communication strategy.