The Canadian Agricultural HR Council (CAHRC) would like to learn about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected farm businesses, the supports they need, and expectations for the future. This information will help CAHRC understand the impact of the pandemic on the agriculture workforce and help ensure the agriculture industry is able to recover quickly in the coming years.Chronic labour shortages are a real and very frustrating problem for many producers in Canada. Unfilled vacancies in agriculture result in production delays, lost production and/or sales, and delays or cancellations of expansion plans. The COVID-19 pandemic may have amplified these issues. CAHRC’s current research is so important and needed to help to more clearly understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agriculture workforce. We need your help! Please complete the survey before January 5, 2021.
Latest COVID-19 Information & Resources
- Where can I find information to help me ensure my work environment is safe for my workers, meeting the occupational health and safety requirements?
- How can I access information about the federal government programs to support businesses and employees?
- Where do I find the latest information on what I need to do to manage my foreign workers?
- Are there tools and resources available to support my own and my employees’ mental health?
- Where can I find information about posting jobs to hire a local labour force?
Where can I find information to help me ensure my work environment is safe for my workers, meeting the occupational health and safety requirements?
As the COVID-19 crisis has evolved, more clarity on how to ensure a safe workplace has become available from federal and provincial governments.
- CCOHS - Pandemics
- CCOHS - Pandemic (COVID-19) Tip Sheets
- Online, Self-Testing Tool - COVID-19 Self Assessment
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Employment and Social Development Canada
- Public Health Agency of Canada - Travel Advice
- World Health Organization
- Provincial Programs and Tools to Source Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Prevention, Control and Outbreak Support Strategy for COVID-19 in Ontario's Farm Workers
It is recommended that you consult your provincial government’s health and safety and labour requirements in addition to these resources.
Information about COVID-19 and agriculture, agri-food and agri-business is accessible here:
- Agri-Food Supply Chains and COVID-19: Balancing Resilience and Vulnerability
- Agriculture and Agrifood Canada Q&As -COVID-19
- Canada’s response during the COVID-19 pandemic – Information and implications for the Agriculture and Agri-Food Sector
There are also requirements and guidelines that have been set out by CFIA and provincial governments:
- Preventing and Responding to COVID-19 in Establishments Regulated by CFIA
- Preventing and Responding to COVID-19 in Meat Slaughter and Processing Establishments
How can I access information about the federal government programs to support businesses and employees?
The federal government resources for Canadian businesses can be found at these links:
- Agriculture and Agrifood Canada Q&As -COVID-19
- Financial Support for Businesses and Workers: Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- Resources for Canadian Business - Trade Commissioner Service
- Expanded Access to CERB and Proposed New Wage Boost for Essential Workers
- Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
Where do I find the latest information on what I need to do to manage my foreign workers?
The COVID-19 crisis has had an impact on the arrival, movement and management of Temporary Foreign Workers. As this crisis has evolved, new guidelines and requirements have been released by federal and provincial governments. CAHRC’s AgriHR Toolkit provides resources related to managing foreign workers that you may find helpful.
The following is a list of key documents currently available:
- Temporary Foreign Worker Compliance
- Guidance for Employers of TFWs regarding Covid-19
- Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP)
- Government announces help for employers to meet their labour needs
- Quarantine Act
- Work and travel in Canada with International Experience Canada
- Special Compliance Inspections for Employers of the TFWP during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Government of Canada is announcing $50 million to help farmers
- Letter from Ministers to Employers – Temporary Foreign Workers – COVID-19
- ESDC Frequently Asked Questions: Changes to the TFWP Regarding COVID-19
- Service Canada Information on Foreign Workers
- Travel Restriction Exemptions in Place for Foreign Workers
- Travel Restriction Measures: COVID-19 Program Delivery
- Work Permit Extension For Temporary Foreign Workers already in Canada
- Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Update during COVID-19
- Guidance to Meat Slaughter and Processing Establishments on Prevention and Response to Suspect and Confirmed COVID-19 Plant Employee
- Foreign Worker News: Government Media Release
- Foreign Worker News: CFA Media Release
Are there tools and resources available to support my own and my employees’ mental health?
CAHRC’s AgriHR Toolkit provides tools and templates for developing workplace wellness policies and work environments.
There are also several free mental health resources available for yourself and your employees.
- Wellness Together Canada: Mental Health and Substance Use Support
- CAMH: Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Mental Health Commission of Canada - Mental Health and Wellness Resource Hub
- Ontario Federation of Agriculture - Well Being During Covid-19
- University of Guelph mental health resource - 8 Domains of Well-Being... COVID-19 Style!
You may also wish to provide resources in other languages for those workers whose first language may not be English or French. Here are some links to mental health resources available in other languages:
- Ontario Fruits and Vegetable Growers Association Mental Health Resources (Spanish only)
- Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre (multi-lingual)
- US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (multi-lingual)
Where can I find information about posting jobs to hire a local labour force?
Where do I find information about managing employees including sick leave, exposure to COVID-19, access to benefits and laying off/re-employing workers?
The COVID-19 crisis has meant a shift in managing employees. To ensure you have the most up-to-date information, it is recommended that you consult legal counsel.
CAHRC’s AgriHR Toolkit provides HR-related resources including policies, templates and tools that you may find helpful.
There is a number of legal resources available on-line that address many of these questions. Some examples include:
It is also recommended that you consult federal and provincial/territorial employment standards, human rights, occupational health and safety and labour regulations and guidelines.