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B.C. extends temporary layoff period for workers

To help people and businesses around the province, the B.C. Government has chosen to extend the temporary layoff provisions to a maximum of 24 weeks, expiring on August 30th.

According to the Province, the extension will give employers and workers more flexibility to support economic recovery. It added that businesses will be expected to honour their obligations to workers and reach an agreement with their employees in the event a further extension is required.

“This extension will provide even more certainty and flexibility,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “This will also give additional time to ensure that employers and workers are able to craft agreements if there is a need to further extend temporary layoffs, while still protecting workers’ rights to compensation for length of service.”

B.C. has a tool that is unique in Canada, Section 72 of the B.C. Employment Standards Act, which allows employers and workers to extend temporary layoffs by making a joint application to the Employment Standards Branch.

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“We heard loud and clear from employers that they need this extension,” Bains said. “We also know it is important to ensure that workers know that they have to be involved in the agreement with the employer to extend the temporary layoff and have a right to decline the layoff and accept the compensation for length of service which they are entitled to.”

The B.C. GOvernment said that it will continue its discussions with workers and employers to ensure Section 72 applications are processed in a timely and manner to support economic recovery and protect workers’ rights.

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