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Provincial tool speeds up temporary COVID-19 layoff application process

The province is making it easier for employers and workers to extend temporary layoffs.

It has launched a new online tool to simplify and streamline the process for an extension beyond August 30th.

In June, B.C extended the time period for temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 to a maximum of 24 weeks, expiring on August 30th, but it has now been extended once again for another 16 weeks.

The new online application tool through the Employment Standards Branch simplifies and streamlines the process by eliminating the need for hardcopy documents and signatures.

The province is encouraging employers to apply as soon as they have received worker support with an application deadline of August 25th.

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There are now two steps to process. Employers must:

  • Survey their workforce to obtain more than 50% support from workers before applying. Workers will receive information about the variance, including what their rights are and can provide their support using a new online response tool;
  • Once worker support is documented, employers complete the online form and submit the document in a new portal directly to the Employment Standards Branch.
  • There are new supportive templates and tools to assist employers and workers in taking these steps.

Under B.C.’s Employment Standards Act, temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 can last up to 24 weeks, before the layoff becomes permanent.

For information on employment standards around temporary layoffs, click here.

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