Business owners are responsible for the safety and protection of employees and customers, and anyone else coming into your business premises. If you are operating during the pandemic, we highly recommend you have a written COVID-19 plan documenting the procedures in place for your business to minimize the chance of transmission of the virus. This also helps to minimize your liability exposure.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has a Back to Business Kit specific to each province, and they are making them available to all business owners for free even if you’re not a member. The kits include province-specific requirements, COVID-19 Operational Plan Template to meet your province’s requirements, compliance checklists, and business operations recommendations. <October/20: note that we’ve heard from some customers that you must now be a CFIB member to access the kits. Sometimes CFIB has offered several months of free membership so businesses can access these kits. While we have found value as a CFIB member, you are not required to be a member in order to have PROfur policy. We have no other affiliation with the CFIB besides being a happy member.>
You can find the CFIB Back to Business Kit for your province here https://bit.ly/3gg4pLu.
If you have employees or independent contractors working in your business, we recommend you provide a copy of your COVID-19 procedures to each of them and have them sign to acknowledge they have received and read the plan.
We are providing this information for guidance only, and it is not intended to take the place of legal or medical advice. We recommend you consult with your local public health unit for any specific questions you have.
Keep in mind that if you choose to keep operating your business in contravention of government orders to be closed, it is possible that it could jeopardize your liability coverage. For instance, if a customer contracts COVID-19 and they allege that your negligence caused them to contract the illness, if you should not have been operating, it is possible the insurance company could deny your liability coverage. At this time, there is no clear answer as to whether any liability claims involving COVID-19 will be covered by liability insurance, however operating in contravention of government orders makes it even murkier as to whether coverage would be provided. In short, if you’re subject to a government order to close your business, we highly recommend you close your business to minimize health risks and your liability risk.