FILE – B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains arrives at the start of the debate at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, June 26, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. extends temporary layoff period to 24 weeks due to COVID-19 pandemic

New limit will closely match CERB timeline

The province has extended how long companies can temporarily lay off workers due to the pandemic.

In a Thursday (June 25) news release, the labour ministry said the temporary layoff period was being extended to 24 weeks, up from 16 weeks declared in early May. That eight-week extension would see the temporary program expire at about the same time at the CERB, which was extended by the same time period earlier this month.

Labour Minister Harry Bains said the extension would allow for greater flexibility for workers and employers alike. The extension moves the temporary layoff period to Aug. 30.

“This will also give additional time to ensure that employers and workers are able to craft agreements if there is a need to further extend temporary layoffs, while still protecting workers’ rights to compensation for length of service,” he said.

The labour ministry said the goal of the extension was to maintain links between employers and employees, which can also allow workers to keep their benefit plans amid a temporary layoff.

Bains said the province heard “loud and clear” from employers that the extension was needed. B.C. entered Phase 3 of its COVID-19 recovery plan this week, but many businesses are still dealing with financial issues due to the pandemic.

READ MORE: Labour minister stands ground as B.C. business leaders demand temporary layoff extension

In a statement, UNITE HERE Local 40 president Zailda Chan, whose union represents represents hotel and hospitality workers in B.C., said she was “incredibly disappointed” with the decision.

“This decision falls far short of what laid-off workers need to stay connected to their jobs,” Chan said in a release, noting the extension would further delay possible severance payments for out-of-work staff.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

British ColumbiaCoronavirusLabour

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Small crowd gathers to watch 231-tonne stacker-reclaimer load onto barge crane

The Dynamic Beast barge crane, known for work with Johnson Street Bridge, makes a return

National Drug Drop-Off month aims to reduce substance abuse by house-bound youth

Expert says there is misconception prescribed medication is safe to take

Saanich Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary hosts pop-up fundraiser in Sidney

Temporary store to feature unique hand made gifts, collectibles, clothing, books and more

Victoria mayor wants newspaper boxes removed from downtown streets

Mayor Lisa Helps says the boxes are not needed, often filled with garbage

Esquimalt artists take to great outdoors amid coronavirus

Group invites budding, or just willing artists, to join at Saxe Point

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

SOOKE HISTORY: A peek into the journal of John George Whiffin

Elida Peers | Contributed One of our most popular walks is on… Continue reading

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Most Read