What you need to know
Use this COVID-19 “hub” to get the latest information about COVID-19 and your benefits plan.
AUGUST 27, 2020
In March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Manion’ offices were closed to all but essential on-site team members. We focused on providing our clients, their plan members, and our industry partners with uninterrupted service and support while transitioning our team members to work remotely in a virtual environment. Everyone has told us that they appreciate the continuity of service we have been able to provide under these circumstances and during these disruptive times.
Because our team members appreciate the collaboration, tools, and camaraderie that they experience when they are working together in our offices, Manion will begin a phased process for our team members to return to our offices starting this fall.
As we begin to phase in our team members successfully, it is important to remind everyone that our offices remain closed to outside visitors. Everyone’s safety is our top priority, and we look forward to hopefully allowing for visitors soon. We will keep you posted when it will be business as usual.
While unfortunately not face-to-face, our priority is to ensure that we continue to provide our clients, their plan members and industry partners with uninterrupted service and support, while ensuring that our team member’s return to our office is safe. This includes continued flexibility for employees with health or childcare challenges and physical safety measures that comply with provincial public health and safety protocols. Initial phases of our plan are entirely employee-led: Manion team members can currently volunteer to return to our offices, subject to safety standards, and many may take advantage of a “hybrid” office + remote work arrangement.
We hope that the majority of staff will be back in our offices by the end of the year. Our plans also include continued monitoring of public health advisories, and a contingency to reinstate mandatory offsite service should circumstances warrant.
We know that many organizations have also had to implement remote work arrangements for their employees, and we appreciate the complexity of these decisions. We’ve added some resources to the ‘Resources for Business’ tab, that Manion has consulted for our planning, in the hopes that these may also be helpful to you and your business.
We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and follow the guidance of our federal and provincial governments and health authorities, making any necessary adjustments to our return to office plan as changes arise and keep you updated.
As we remain fully operational and accessible, please reach out to us with any questions you may have. Contact us at:
APRIL 3, 2020
Given the concern about the COVID-19 virus and efforts to contain it, our teams are now working from home. As a result, the office is closed to outside visitors until further notice. Our teams will continue to provide you the service you have come to expect from Manion.
If you have any questions, our Contact Centre is ready to help. Contact us at:
MARCH 26, 2020
In the past few weeks, we’ve seen the human and economic effects of COVID 19 — but we’ve also seen the best of people and organizations doing their part to get us through this challenging time. We wanted to share what Manion is doing to play our part.
With COVID-19 top of mind and further to the Ontario government’s mandated business closures, please note that Manion is exempt as an “essential service”. As such, we will continue to operate as we have over the past few weeks. Manion wanted to reach out directly to say that we are ready to help you. We want to make sure your benefits administered through Manion is available to you all the time, from anywhere.
Our team is working as quickly as we can to meet the needs of our clients and their plan beneficiaries. We are working tirelessly on your behalf and have taken continuous action to take care of their well-being while they do what they do best – take care of you. Manion has taken measures to ensure that we can continue to support you and to maintain the service we provide to you during this time of disruption, including transitioning our team members to offsite work locations.
Please note in order to maintain everyone’s safety, our office locations are closed to visitors. If you have questions about setting up digital services, or for any other inquiries, contact us at:
MARCH 16, 2020
As you are no doubt aware, COVID-19 has begun to disrupt Canadian business and social routines. The situation remains fluid and can change almost daily. We want you to be well informed about how this situation can impact your benefits under Manion’s administration, and the steps that Manion is taking to continue to provide service to our clients and their plan members.
- The Government of Canada has changed international travel advisories. This has an impact on out of country coverage if provided under your benefit plan through Manion. Refer to the Out of Country section below for updated information.
- Manion’s team is now ready to support you remotely. Refer to the Our Operations section below for updated information.
VISITING THE OFFICE
COVID-19 VISITOR HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Manion has developed the following visitor health and safety protocols to ensure we protect the physical, mental health, and safety of both employees and visitors while adhering to all public health policies and guidelines. Hosts (an employee hosting a visitor) are required to advise visitors in advance of these protocols and should provide an advanced copy of this document to all visitors.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, wherever possible, business should be conducted virtually, however there may be occasions where visitors need to come to our physical office location. Visitors also include any contract staff such as cleaners, trades and vendors. The following protocols must be followed:
Visiting Company Offices
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout the workplace, in all cases the following visitors shall not be permitted to visit any Manion workplace:
- Any visitor that appears to have COVID-19 symptoms (i.e. fever, cough, or difficulty breathing), until such symptoms have passed.
- Any visitor that has tested positive for COVID-19. Visitors are not permitted until the visitor tests negative for COVID-19 and has completed any self-isolation period mandated by public health authorities. If the visitor is unable to be tested, the visitor should not visit any Manion office until they have completed any mandated self-isolation period and are free of symptoms.
- Any visitor that has been in close physical contact with another person diagnosed with COVID-19. The visitor should not visit any Manion workplace until the visitor has completed any mandated self-isolation period and does not present any symptoms.
- Any visitor who has travelled internationally until the visitor has completed self-isolation/isolation requirements as outlined by either the Canadian Federal Government, or Provincial Health Officer in the Province of the office location.
Protocols While Visiting an Office
Because our team members appreciate the collaboration, tools, and camaraderie that they experience when they are working together in our offices, Manion will begin a phased process for our team members to return to our offices beginning this fall.
- All visitors visiting the Manion office are required to report to reception and identify themselves.
- Visitors will be asked to provide their name, telephone number, email address, date and time of visit, and name of the host. This information will be logged at reception and used to assist with any contract tracing efforts in the event of an outbreak.
- All visitors to Manion offices are required to perform a temperature assessment at reception prior to proceeding with their visit. A visitor whose temperature check exceeds 38° Celsius (100.4° Fahrenheit) will be asked to postpone their visit.
- All visitors are expected to wear a face mask in all public and common areas (for example, hallways, bathrooms etc.). Visitors are not required to wear a face mask when attending an in-person meeting in a meeting room where physical distancing can be maintained.
- If a visitor prefers to wear a face mask in a meeting room, they may do so at their own choice. In circumstances where a visitor does not have a non-medical face mask, one will be made available at reception.
- Visitors must always be escorted by the host when beyond the reception area. Exceptions to this are any contract staff such as cleaners, trades and vendors who have received advanced permission, and access to areas beyond reception.
- When an employee is considering hosting a meeting, they must ensure that the meeting room chosen allows for 2 meters physical distancing and does not exceed the COVID meeting room capacity. Room capacity is posted outside each meeting room.
- An employee hosting a meeting should ensure that all surfaces in the meeting rooms are disinfected prior to the start of the meeting, and at the conclusion of the meeting. Disinfectant wipes are available in each meeting room.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people in many ways. The level of sensitivity to health and safety concerns will vary depending on everyone’s personal circumstances and situation. As such, we ask that all employees and visitors make every reasonable effort to adhere to these Health & Safety protocols and respect one another.
Reporting of Deficiencies
Employees or visitors who encounter any deficiencies related to these protocols are encouraged to notify Human Resources as soon as possible.
WE’RE READY TO SUPPORT YOU
In order to ensure continued service, and in light of public health authority’s “social distancing” recommendations, Manion’s team is now working remotely. While we have implemented measures to minimize service impacts, clients and plan members may experience slight delays as we adjust our processes during these unusual circumstances. Our industry partner, plan sponsors, and members are encouraged to reach out to their regular contacts at Manion for continued service.
As well, Manion is in regular contact with its industry partners and service providers to ensure continuity of service. We’re committed to continuing communications with you as the situation changes.
In the interest of social distancing, we are asking our clients and guests not to visit our office at this time. We are also rescheduling or postponing meetings scheduled for the next several weeks.
OUT OF COUNTRY COVERAGE
Benefit plans administered through Manion with out-of-country medical coverage will be impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 14, 2020, the Government of Canada issued a “Level 3” travel advisory, recommending against all non-essential international travel to any destination. This advisory has an impact on your out-of-country travel coverage.
- If travel began prior to the Government of Canada travel advisory, the exclusion may not apply provided the plan member take the necessary measures to comply with the advisory as soon as possible.
- If the travel out of Canada began after the Government of Canada issued a travel advisory, a plan member will most likely not be covered for out of country emergency expenses.
- If a plan members qualifies for out of country coverage and experience significant time in quarantine, they should expect to receive coverage throughout, up to the limits of their policy identified in their Benefits Booklets
Please refer to your Benefits Booklets for specific details of your coverage, including who insures your plan’s out of country coverage. Each insurer has further information available on their websites.
Insurers are working together to establish revised guidelines to their short-term disability claims requirements related to COVID-19, including streamlining proof of disability or illness. This situation is fluid, and may change as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
If you have a plan member who becomes ill due to COVID-19 or has symptoms and/or tests positive for COVID-19, and they are unable to work from home, the individual would be eligible to receive STD benefits in accordance with the contract. Please note: If the individual is not exhibiting any symptoms and can continue their work from home while self-quarantined, there is no absence from work, so there is no disability claim.
Given the concern about the COVID-19 virus and efforts to contain it, we want to provide participating members of a pension plan administered by Manion, an update on what we are doing to maintain a work environment safe for our employees, clients and the members we all serve. Out of an abundance of caution, we are implementing our business continuity plans to ensure our teams will be able to provide you the service you have come to expect from Manion.
Over the last few years, Manion has made significant investments in technology and business continuity planning, so we can continue to support all our members during difficult times like this. Our senior leadership team is involved in reviewing and revising our plans on an daily basis, and as of March 19, 2020, we have implemented the following protocols:
- All of our Pension Staff will be working from home for the duration of the current situation to support the practice of social distancing to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and ensure we are able to continue to process member applications for benefits.
- We have cancelled all business travel, and are also now eliminating all in-person meetings. We have deployed tools and training to assist staff with holding meaningful virtual meetings to ensure all members continue to receive the support they have come to expect. Further to this, all Pre-Retirement Information Sessions will be held by conference call – we will be reaching out to anyone already scheduled to confirm their in person session will be held by phone or rescheduled at a future date if that is what the member prefers.
Updated Processes – Important Changes we are Implementing to Serve you Better
To ensure Manion can continue to support you during this difficult time, we have updated some of our processes, and will now accept documents by Fax. This is in line with how many organizations in our industry are operating today, and something Manion was looking to implement even before the issues we are all now facing surfaced. Our Contact Centre will be providing this information to members (when/if they contact us) directly, and we will also be providing this update on all outgoing information we send.
All member Pension Applications, and membership status history information (needed to support Pension Application processing), can now be sent to us by fax at 905-264-6344. For those of our clients who are able to send secure encrypted e-mails, they can also send us these documents by e-mail to email@example.com. To better support you this time, we are also now accepting electronic signatures for pension application submissions. Authorized personnel ( Plan Sponsor and Local Union’s ) can now send us an e-mail to acknowledge and approve an application moving forward without the need for a physical signature. If information is sent to us electronically, we ask that you please maintain the paper copy for a short period until we have had time to review the material and ensure there is no issue with the legibility of the documents submitted.
We are also going to immediately commence distribution of pension option packages by secure e-mail – this will allow you to receive your package without fear of any potential disruption to Canada Post delivery.
Our Commitment to You
Manion is committed to ensure minimal interruption to our ability to support you during this difficult time. If you have any questions or if we may offer support, please feel free to reach out to our Contact Centre. On behalf of all of the staff here at Manion, we thank you for your continued support, and wish you all the best during this difficult time.
Please be assured that we will continue to adjust our processes to support you. That way, you can focus on your work, your safety and your health as we go through this together.
CONTRIBUTING EMPLOYERS: REMITTING & PAYING ELECTRONICALLY
As you know the situation with COVID 19 is quickly evolving and understandably raising concerns for you and your family. At Manion, the well-being of our valued clients, their plan beneficiaries and our employees is of greatest concern to us. We have implemented business measures to ensure continuity of our service and operations while doing our part in the office and our community to help contain the spread of the virus.
In light of rapidly changing developments over the Coronavirus, COVID-19, and in planning for our preparedness, Manion is reaching out to participating Employers who make contributions to the Benefit Trust Funds and Plans under our administration in anticipation of questions you might have about our operations and business continuity. We assure you we are closely monitoring the situation and have activated our Business Continuity Plan so that we continue to deliver all core services to our clients and their Membership without interruption.
With this in mind, to ensure benefits remain seamlessly available to all eligible members you employ in these uncertain times, as a Contributing Employer we are asking for you to assist us by remitting your contributions electronically and send payment through electronic funds transfer:
Submitting Remittance Reporting Electronically
Despite of the COVID19 situation, as a contributing employer you are still required to submit your remittance on time on a monthly basis. Your remittance details should be submitted along with your payment. Manion must match your payment with your remittance details before the hours can be processed.
You can simply use the form sent monthly to you by Manion or continue to use your own form when submitting your details electronically. Your file must be in either Excel or PDF format, as well as encrypted or password protected for privacy purposes. The file can be sent by email to Manion at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cannot encrypt or password protect the file, please fax it to 416-234-2071.
Reminder, if you do not have any member remittances for a particular month, you are still required by the collective agreement, to submit a NIL report which can be submit electronically as well.
If you do not have a remittance form, you can email email@example.com and request a copy.
Fund Transfer: What Do You Have To Do?
To reduce any delays, Manion can accept electronic deposit of payments. Email the Administrator for payment routing information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pay Online: What Do You Have To Do?
You can make your monthly remittance payments using online banking. If you bank at TD, CIBC, Royal, Scotia, BMO or Desjardins:
- Enter the Bill Payment area.
- Search for “Manion” as a payee.
- MANION WILKINS & ASSOCIATES LTD. will appear as a payee.
- Enter your six-digit remitting number, without the three-digit prefix or hyphen in front, as the “account number”. E.g. if your Remitting No. is 030-888777 then your “account number” is 888777.
- Please note that you must submit a separate payment for each of your remitting numbers.
When you finalize the online payment, please send an email to email@example.com confirming that the required funds have been transferred to the Trust Fund account and attach a copy of your Password protected monthly remittance forms.
PLAN MEMBERS: GO PAPER FREE FOR QUICKER CLAIMS PROCESSING
To ensure an efficient experience and the quickest turn-around time for claims processing and payment, we encourage you to use the electronic claims submission and direct deposit options that are available through your claims submission platforms and apps.
If you have questions on setting up these services, reach out to us at:
RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES
- Canadian Federation of Independent Business | COVID-19 Resources
- Government of Canada | Resources for Canadian Businesses
- Center for Disease Control (U.S.) | Disinfecting Your Facility If Someone Is Sick
- Center for Disease Control (U.S.) | Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Government of Canada | Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce | Pandemic Preparation Guide for Businesses
- PwC Canada | A Remote Working Guide for Canadians Businesses
- Canada Post | Delivery Service Alerts
- WorkSafeBC | Return to Office Planning
- Government of Alberta | Return to Office Planning
- Government of Saskatchewan | Return to Office Planning
- Government of Manitoba | Return to Office Planning
- Government of Ontario| Return to Office Planning
- Government of Quebec | Return to Office Planning
- Government of New Brunswick| Return to Office Planning
- Government of Nova Scotia | Return to Office Planning
- Government of Prince Edward Island | Return to Office Planning
- Government of Newfoundland & Labrador | Return to Office Planning
- Government of Yukon | Return to Office Planning
- Government of Northwest Territories | Return to Office Planning
- Government of Nunavut | Return to Office Planning
- Canadian Business Resilience Network | Toolkit for Reopening Canada’s Economy
- Bennett Jones | Best Practices for Returning to Work and Operating a Business During COVID-19
- Hicks Morley | COVID-19 and Workplace Preparedness
- Canadian Federation of Independent Business | COVID-19 Small Business Help Centre
RESOURCES FOR PLAN MEMBERS AND THEIR FAMILIES
RESPONDING TO COVID-19
- Government of Canada | How to Self Isolate at Home Infographic
- Government of Canada | Social Distancing
- World Health Organization | COVID Mythbusters
- Center for Disease Control (U.S.) | Talking with Children about COVID
- Child Mind | Supporting kids During the COVID crisis
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
- Healthline | Being mindful of your health during the COVID-19 outbreak
- Psychology Today | Survive social distancing with your mental health intact
- Center for Disease Control (U.S.) | Managing anxiety and stress
- Global News | How to be mindful of your mental health
- Wellness Together Canada | Mental Health and Substance Use Support