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

39 caught speeding through Cowichan school zones

On June 1, North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP conducted speed enforcement in several school zones

Lake Cowichan firefighters douse blaze at Mayo Road

Sahtlam called in for mutual aid in abandoned shop and motorhome

Caps send Luciano Wilson to Penticton Vees

Hometown hero led Cowichan in scoring last season

Considerations made to keep Crofton drive-by birthday celebrations going

Trucks will tone it down or not use horns at all to bring some joy to kids and older folks

$10,000 stolen bikes recovered after Maple Bay break-in

Police track high-end bikes to storage locker

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Most Read