A win for the Chamber network & BC Business: temporary layoffs extended to Aug 30th, 2020

Victoria, June 25, 2020 - The BC Chamber Network mobilized under the BC Chamber of Commerce to provide feedback in response to Government plans to stop the temporary layoff provisions.

From the BC Chamber of Commerce: "Thank you to Premier Horgan and the BC government for acting on the BC Chamber network and other business associations’ request to further extend the temporary layoff provision in the Employment Standards Act to August 30th. This is a clear BC Chamber network win. Local chambers shared with the BC Chamber that the temporary layoff provision was top of mind for their members’ and we made sure the provincial government knew that. See the compelling results of our most recent BCMindReader.com survey on this issue. Thank you to all chambers and members who brought their voice to this urgent conversation – and for your stellar leadership." (www.bcchamber.ca)

"Following conversations with business and worker representatives, the Province of British Columbia has extended the temporary layoffs provisions to a maximum of 24 weeks expiring on Aug. 30, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The extension will give employers and workers additional flexibility to support economic recovery in the province with the expectation that businesses honour their obligations to workers and reach agreement with their employees in the event a further extension is required.

“This extension will provide even more certainty and flexibility,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “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.

“Our goal is to maintain connections between employers and workers who have a joint interest in supporting the economic recovery of businesses in B.C. and the jobs that go with them. Employers who are not able to return to full operations and need additional time can do so with agreement from their employees, but we expect those employees will be recalled when operations have resumed.”

Section 72 of the B.C. Employment Standards Act provides a tool unique in Canada, allowing employers and workers to extend temporary layoffs by making a joint application to the Employment Standards Branch.

“We heard loud and clear from employers that they need this extension,” Bains said. “We also know it is important to ensure that workers know that they have to be involved in the agreement with the employer to extend the temporary layoff and have a right to decline the layoff and accept the compensation for length of service which they are entitled to.”

Government will continue discussions with worker and employer representatives to ensure the Section 72 applications are processed in a timely and effective manner to support economic recovery and protect workers’ rights.

BC’s Restart Plan is supporting business to safely reopen and get people back to work. Employers are also encouraged to make use of the federal wage subsidy to assist them in bringing their workers back." (www.gov.bc.ca)

Learn More:

For information on employment standards around temporary layoffs, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards/termination#laying-off

Learn more about B.C.’s economic recovery planning: http://gov.bc.ca/recoveryideas

For information about BC’s Restart Plan, visit: http://gov.bc.ca/restartbc

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: www.bccdc.ca

Or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

For the provincial health officer's orders, notices and guidance, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/phoguidance

For non-health related information, including financial, child care and education supports, travel, transportation and essential service information, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/Covid-19

Or call 1 888 COVID19 (1 888 268-4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Pacific time), seven days a week.

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Port McNeill & District Chamber of Commerce

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photo contributions: A. Smith, G. Wickstrom, O. Jorgensen, Business Members