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Workers Compensation Board returning $37-million surplus amid coronavirus pandemic

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Manitoba Workers Compensation Board returning $37 million surplus to businesses impacted by COVID-19 pandemic' Coronavirus outbreak: Manitoba Workers Compensation Board returning $37 million surplus to businesses impacted by COVID-19 pandemic
On Tuesday, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced that the province's Workers Compensation Board would be returning a $37 million in surplus to provide financial relief for eligible businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that this would allow the province to “return money to businesses at a time when cash flow is a real challenge.” – Apr 21, 2020

Premier Brian Pallister says small businesses will get some relief amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, Pallister said the Workers Compensation Board is returning a $37-million surplus to provide financial relief for eligible businesses.

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“This has real benefits,” said Pallister, noting it won’t help just small businesses but also home care, health care and other businesses.

According to a press release, eligible employers will receive a credit in May based on 20 per cent of their 2019 premium.

“With a healthy reserve fund, we are pleased to provide a refund of approximately 20 per cent to employers to help bolster their bottom line,” WCB chair Michael Werier said in the release.

“It’s incumbent upon businesses like ourselves to do our part to actively help support financial recovery efforts over the next several months.”

Of the $37 million, the WCB expects $29 million will be returned to the private sector, with about $7 million going to small businesses.

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Pallister said the surplus is “coincidental” to the pandemic and came about because of good investments and lower claim costs.

Asked by 680CJOB about possible MLA pay cuts, Pallister replied that he has taken a 25 per cent pay cut.

PC MLAs refused a raise earlier this year.

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On Monday, Pallister extended the province’s state of emergency declaration for another 30 days to May 18.

One more death related to COVID-19 was also announced Monday, a woman in her 80s, bringing Manitoba’s total to six.

Watch the entire press conference:

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Manitoba’s state of emergency extended, testing to widen

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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