‘Many employers who have had to temporarily lay off employees intend to bring them back to work’
The federal government has extended the period employers are allowed to recall workers temporarily laid off amid the COVID-19 pandemic by up to six months.
Under the amendments made to the Canada Labour Standards Regulations, the period is extended by six months or to December 30, 2020, whichever occurs first, for employees laid off before March 31, 2020.
For employees laid off between March 31, 2020, and September 30, 2020, the period is extended until December 30, 2020, unless a later recall date was provided in a written notice at the time of the layoff.
Previously, 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.
“We know that many employers who have had to temporarily lay off employees intend to bring them back to work,” said Filomena Tassi, minister of labour. “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.”
The changes came into effect on June 22. These do not apply to employees who are covered by a collective agreement that contains recall rights and to employees whose employment had already been terminated before the coming into force of the amendments, says the government.
The temporary changes will help protect the jobs of federally regulated private-sector employees.
The previous rules will apply to layoffs occurring after September 30, 2020.
The federal government has also previously given the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program an eight-week extension and expanded the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to cover more Canadians and businesses facing difficult challenges as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak.