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Feds extend time periods for temporary layoffs

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 @ 1:33 PM | By John Chunn

The federal government on June 23 announced changes to extend time periods for temporary layoffs to allow employers more time to recall laid-off employees.

According to a press release from Employment and Social Development Canada, the temporary changes will help protect the jobs of federally regulated private-sector employees and support employers facing economic hardship as a result of the pandemic.

Prior to these changes, employers could temporarily lay off their employees for up to three months if no notice with a recall date was provided, or for a period of up to six months if they provided a notice with an expected recall date, before the layoff became a termination. The amendments, which are set out in the Canada Labour Standards Regulations, temporarily extend these time periods by up to six months:

For employees laid off prior to March 31, 2020, the time period is extended by six months or to Dec. 30, 2020, whichever occurs first.

For employees laid off between March 31, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2020, the time period is extended until Dec. 30, 2020, unless a later recall date was provided in a written notice at the time of the layoff.

These changes, which came into effect on June 22, 2020, do not apply to employees who are covered by a collective agreement that contains recall rights.

These changes also do not apply to employees whose employment had already been terminated prior to the coming into force of the amendments. The previous rules will apply to layoffs occurring after Sept. 30, 2020.

“We know that many employers who have had to temporarily lay off employees intend to bring them back to work. However, there is still a great deal of uncertainty regarding exactly when that will be possible. That’s why we are taking action to protect the jobs of those employees and to support those employers by giving them more time to recall their employees,” said Minister of Labour Filomena Tassi.