B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)

B.C. extends temporary layoff rules for COVID-19 pandemic

Can be up to 16 weeks to match federal CERB program

The B.C. government has changed its employment regulations to allow employers to extend temporary layoffs up to 16 weeks due to COVID-19 restrictions, to match the duration of federal emergency aid.

The change is to allow more laid-off employees to keep their jobs and employers to restart operations more quickly. Premier John Horgan is expected to lay out details of B.C.’s initial lifting of pandemic restrictions this week.

Previously, if a worker was laid off for 13 weeks of any 20-week period, B.C.’s Employment Standards Act required that to be treated as a permanent layoff with written notice of termination and severance pay if applicable. Now if the employee agrees, that can be extended to 16 weeks for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This change to the Employment Standards Act aligns B.C.’s temporary layoff provisions with the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) period,” Labour Minister Harry Bains’ office said in a statement May 4. “The federal period provides 16 weeks of financial support, allowing employees to take full advantage of those benefits.”

During a temporary layoff, people are still considered employed and any benefits, vacation and leave of absence provisions are protected, according to the ministry’s website.

If employees’ hours are reduced, they are considered laid off as soon as they earn less than 50 per cent of their weekly wages at the regular rate, measured as an average of the previous eight weeks.

RELATED: Ontario, Quebec begin lifting lockdown restrictions

RELATED: ‘I love you – stay away,’ senior tells family for Mother’s Day


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whitehorse native Elias joins Michigan-Dearborn Wolverines

Johnny Elias played for the Fernie Ghostriders this past season

EDITORIAL: Editor bids farewell

Editor Paige Mueller will be leaving The Free Press team at the end of July

Aislinn Dressler competes in 2020 Youth Innovation Showcase

Dressler was a finalist at the showcase, exhibiting her energy efficient fridge design

Stories decorate city pathways for new reading initiative

The Fernie Women’s Resource Centre began the initiative in support of the local early years community

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Interior Health reports nine new cases of COVID-19, 149 linked to Kelowna

Nine new cases were reported in the Interior Health region over the long weekend’s four reporting periods

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Feds fund $2M for habitat conservation in the Kootenays

Kootenay Connect program to protect habitat for species at risk in four areas in the region

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

Most Read