March 24th, 2020 3:00 pm
Last night the Government of Ontario released a comprehensive list of those businesses which have been deemed essential and are not required to close as of Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. Manufacturers, like HPI, have been identified as essential under the Province’s manufacturing sector definition and may remain open over the planned 14-day shut down, as mandated by the Provincial Government.
This morning HPI leadership, in conjunction with Core, made the decision that despite our essential business classification, we would shut the facility down during the next 14-days. This decision was made in order to protect the health and safety of our employees and their families. The decision was not made easily, and we appreciate the impact it will have on our people.
The plant shut down will begin at the end of todays’ Day Shift and will last until April 8th. Employees are expected to report for their scheduled shift on April 8th unless they are otherwise notified. Should there be an extension to the shut down, we will inform all employees directly as soon as possible. We will continue to provide updates through the website as they are available.
During this time, salaried staff are encouraged to work from home to the extent possible, recognizing there may be times they will be required to be in the plant. Plant shipping activities may continue during the shutdown and that information will be communicated to those employees involved.
During the shut down, we urge all HPI employees to continue to adhere to the Health Canada guidelines related to handwashing, social distancing and self-isolation. Please take good care of yourself and your families and we look forward to re-starting the facility with your support soon.
If you have any questions, please contact Doreen Leslie or Brandy Balsdon in Human Resources.
Thank you again for your patience and understanding during this time.
March 23rd, 2020 4:00 pm
Earlier today Premier Doug Ford announced the closure of all non-essential workplaces in the Province of Ontario. This closure will go into effect on Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. and will last for a period of at least 14 days. This announcement provides 36 hours for non-essential businesses and their employees to prepare for the temporary closure.
A list of businesses which are considered essential will be published tomorrow and those businesses will be allowed to remain open at this time until further notice.
At this time, it is unclear whether HPI will be deemed an essential business under the Province’s definition, however until we have an answer, we will continue to run production and employees are expected to report for their scheduled shifts. We are working closely with our vendors and customers to determine which may be considered essential and we will evaluate each on a case by case basis.
COVID-19 is affecting all of us and we all must do our part in preventing the spread of the virus. We are committed to protecting the health and safety of all employees and have already implemented strict protocols to address workplace concerns and have enhanced our cleaning and sanitation frequency throughout the facility. Earlier today we took additional action to improve social distancing in the lunchroom area and we will continue to enhance social distancing guidelines and PPE availability on the plant floor, wherever possible. We would ask that you continue to adhere to all prescribed guidelines, which include frequent handwashing, social-distancing, and self-isolation should you be experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
We have established a website for employees where updates will be posted, and vital information can be found:
Thank you all for your patience and vigilance during this challenging time.
March 19th, 2020 10:00 pm
EI and COVID-19 Emergency Benefits
EI sickness benefits include being unable to work because of illness or quarantine. Under Wednesday’s changes, the one-week waiting period for sickness benefits will be removed for those who have been told to self-isolate or quarantine, meaning applicants can be paid for the first week of their claim.
How do I apply?
Applicants will require an ROE (record of employment) to be issued by HR. ROE’s are transmitted online directly to Service Canada. If you can’t apply because you are quarantined, you can also file for EI sickness benefits later and have the claim backdated.
To apply for EI benefits, you can visit the website: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-sickness/apply.html. Afterwards, you can apply to have the one-week waiting period waived by calling the government’s toll-free number at 1-833-381-2725. It is also possible to apply in person at a Service Canada office, though those who are experiencing symptoms, or are in self-isolation or quarantine are instructed not to visit.
If approved, the maximum amount paid out for EI is $573 a week.
What if I don’t qualify for EI?
The federal aid package also includes the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.
The Emergency Care Benefit provides up to $900 every two weeks for up to 15 weeks. It’s intended for those who don’t qualify for EI, those who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 can apply, as can those staying home to take care of a family member with COVID-19 who doesn’t qualify. Parents staying home to care for children because of school closures are also covered and can apply whether or not they qualify for EI.
Both benefit plans will be available to apply for in April, through the CRA website, and a toll-free number that has not yet been shared.
Stress and Coping
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear & anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and your community.
EAP – LifeWorks – 1-877 207 8833
LifeWorks offers support with mental, physical, social, and financial well-being.
Whether you have questions about handling stress, parenting or childcare, managing money, or health issues, you can turn to LifeWorks for a confidential service that you can trust anytime, 24/7, 365 days a year.
Return to Work Form
Employee Call-In Number
If you have questions, please use the employee call-in number at (905) 372-2291 x245.