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

COLUMN: Search and find books still popular at the library

Where’s Waldo and other picture puzzle books provide entertainment for all ages

Boot launches campaign with Facebook Live event

NDP candidate for riding of Penticton joined by John Horgan, Richard Cannings and others

Osoyoos awards $77,000 contract for universal water metering

TR Underwood Engineering won the bid for planning and implementing water meters across town

Column: $200,000 donation to Penticton Regional Hospital more than ‘a little something’

The donation brings us closer to our goal of a second CT scanner at hospital

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

Orange Shirt Day lessons of past in today’s classrooms

Phyllis Webstad, who attended St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in British Columbia, is credited for creating the movement

Greens’ Furstenau fires at NDP, Liberals on pandemic recovery, sales tax promise

She also criticized the NDP economic recovery plan, arguing it abandons the tourism industry

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

Peachland resident finds severed bear paw on driveway

Tracie Gordon thought it was a Halloween prank, but it turned out to be a real bear paw

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Most Read