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Temporary Layoffs and COVID-19

Temporary Layoffs and COVID-19

Posted by Graeme Maitland — filed in Employment Law

Temporary layoffs because of COVID-19 have sadly become the norm in Alberta but, with things beginning to reopen, it helps to go over the legality of temporary layoffs.

The Basics

Normally, temporary layoffs were limited to 60 days within a 120 day period. However, because of COVID-19, this period has been extended from 60 to 120 days. This applies to all layoffs on or after March 17, 2020 and to any temporary layoff that occurred before this date but was related to COVID-19.

A temporary layoff may be extended by agreement if the employee agrees to receive wages, pension or benefit payments in lieu of a firm limit of the length of the layoff.

What you need to know

If, on day 121, the employee is not returned to work, the employee’s employment is considered terminated. This means they are entitled to termination pay as outlined by the Employment Standards Code and their contract and the common law.

Employees are not entitled to compensation during the layoff. If the employee has enough insurable hours, they may be able to qualify for Employment Insurance benefits or another emergency response program.

To be recalled to work, the employer must provide written notice to the employee before the 120 day period expires. The employee must return to work within 7 days of the recall notice. If they do not, the employee may be terminated and their termination notice may be affected because of this.

If you would like legal advice regarding temporary layoffs, contact a lawyer at Aarbo Fuldauer LLP in Calgary.

Address: 3rd Floor, 1131 Kensington Road NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 3P4

Phone: (403) 571-5120

Email: [email protected]

The information in the blog is not legal advice. Do not treat or rely upon it as legal advice.  If you require legal assistance, please contact a lawyer.
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