May 6, 2020

By: Azadeh Taghizadeh, Daniel Sorensen and Lawrence Smith

The British Columbia government has extended the temporary layoff period to 16 weeks under the Employment Standards Act (“Act”) to financially help businesses and allow employees to keep their current positions without being considered terminated. Prior to this extension, a layoff of more than 13 weeks in a 20-week period is considered a termination, which would require the employer to pay the employee an amount specified in section 63 (as much as 8 weeks of pay). This temporary layoff can now be extended to 16 weeks if the employee agrees.

This extension is now parallel with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) entitlements, which are paid for up to 4 months, that is 16 weeks.

This extension is for temporary layoffs related to COVID- 19 related reasons and only valid during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Act will be revised to its original terms once the state of emergency has been lifted.

We hope that you are all doing well and staying safe during these difficult and uncertain times.

If you have any questions or need legal advice, please contact us to set up a consultation.


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