Temporary Layoffs 101

by | Jun 26, 2012 | Blog, Layoffs



Temporary Layoffs 101

by | Jun 26, 2012 | Blog, Layoffs | 0 comments


The Employment Standards Act of BC allows employers to temporarily layoff employees only if the layoff:

  • is expressly provided for in the employee’s contract of employment;
  • is implied by well-known industry-wide practice (e.g. logging, where work cannot be performed during “break-up”); or
  • is agreed to by the employee.

If an employer lays off an employee in situations other than those described above, the layoff would amount to a termination  (unless the employee is exempt from the application of the Employment Standards Act).

Where a layoff amounts to a termination of employment, the termination date is the first day of the layoff, and the employee’s entitlement to compensation for length of service is based on that date.

The maximum length of a temporary layoff is 13 weeks in a consecutive 20 week period.  The 20 week period begins on the first day of the layoff  and the layoff becomes a termination once the 13 week period is exceeded.  If an employee earns less than 50% of his/her regular wages in a week that falls within the 20 week period, that week will count towards the 13 week period.

For a unionized employee, a temporary layoff becomes a termination when the recall period set out in the collective agreement is exceeded.

Temporary layoffs are complicated and employers should seek legal advice before taking such action.

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