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DC's advocacy results in benefits for private practice dietitians

COVID-19 has heavily impacted the revenues and business of private practice dietitians who are self-employed, running small businesses or working as contractors. DC is working hard at the federal level to make sure that your voices are heard and that supports for these dietitians are available. Here are some recent federal announcements and ongoing DC actions: 

Individuals earning up to $1000/month are now eligible to receive Canadian Emergency Response benefits (CERB).  When the CERB was first announced (see the news update from April 6), many private practice dietitians did not meet the criteria because they were still bringing in some revenue, though much reduced. On behalf of front line dietitians, DC spoke to representatives from the Department of Finance Canada and sent a letter to ask that dietitians providing essential services be eligible to receive the CERB. On April 15, we were pleased that our message was heard when the Prime Minister announced that the CERB would now accommodate workers with significantly reduced hours.  Read more about CERB.

Small businesses with $20 000 or more in payroll are now eligible for Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA). As part of the Extended Healthcare Professionals Coalition (EHPC), DC has advocated for the CEBA to be available to small businesses with lower payrolls as many dietitians did not meet the $50,000 payroll threshold and could not successfully access the $40,000 loan.  Read more about CEBA.

Rent relief for small businesses is now available. As part of the EHPC, DC has advocated for rent relief for dietitians owning businesses who are unable to pay their rent due to a decrease in revenue. The government recently announced rent relief for small businesses for the months of April to June. Read more about the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance.
Ongoing advocacy for wage subsidies to support dietitians who employ contractors. As part of the Extended Healthcare Professionals Coalition (EHPC), DC has advocated for the Canada Emergency Wage to be available to contractors. Dietitians who own small businesses have had a reduction in revenue and those employing contractor dietitians cannot support them financially. We continue to await a response from the government about these changes. Read more about the Wage Subsidy.

If you would like to see further changes, lend your voice.  We have created this template letter to help you share your concerns with the Minister of Finance. 

DC will continue to advocate for fair income support for private practice dietitians and business owners. The EHPC has requested regular briefings from the Finance Department in light of how quickly the programs are evolving and the desire to meet the needs of health professionals, including dietitians. Follow this news feed, the Your Weekly Update newsletter and DC's social media to stay up to date on the latest information on federal supports. 

Please reach out to your Regional Executive Director with the challenges you are facing or if you have stories to share. You can also join the new Facebook group, Dietitians of Canada COVID-19 Response Group.
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