B.C. Government Implements COVID-19 Temporary Layoff Under Employment Standards

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

On May 4, 2020, the Government of British Columbia announced an extension of the temporary layoff period to assist employers during the unprecedented financial circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

British Columbia’s Employment Standards Regulation (Regulation) was amended to provide for a temporary layoff of 16 weeks in a period of 20 consecutive weeks where the COVID-19 pandemic was a contributing cause of the layoff.

In circumstances where the temporary layoff is not due to COVID-19-related reasons, the extended temporary layoff period now provided for under the Regulation will not apply. Instead, the usual temporary layoff period of 13 weeks in any period of 20 consecutive weeks set out in British Columbia’s Employment Standards Act will continue to apply.

The Government of British Columbia announced that this is a temporary change to employment standards in the province. The change is expected to remain in effect as long as the Government of British Columbia determines it is needed to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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