Temporary Layoffs in B.C.

Under the Employment Standards Act, RSBC 1996, c. 113 (the “Act”), as long as an employer has the contractual authority or the employee agrees to it, employers may layoff employees on a temporary basis. Normally, the time limit for a layoff to be “temporary”, according to the Act, is 13 weeks. After this, the employer must recall the employee or else trigger statutory termination obligations.

On June 25, in response to COVID-19, the B.C. Ministry of Labour extended the maximum allowable temporary layoff period to 24 weeks within a 28-week period ending on or before August 30, 2020.

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