Province issues temporary layoff extension reminder

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VICTORIA, B.C. – Workers and employers who are needing to extend any temporary layoffs beyond the August 30th expiry date are being reminded to apply for the variance using the Employment Standards Branch’s new online application by August 25th.

Back in July, Harry Bains, Minister of Labour, launched a more simplified variance application process to help any businesses navigate the impacts of the pandemic caused by COVID-19 more easily.

This new two-step online application works to simplify and streamline the process for employers and workers to jointly apply for an extension by allowing documents and signatures to be submitted electronically.

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First, employers are to reach out to their workforce to make sure they have more than 50 percent support from workers to apply.

These workers will then receive information regarding the variance, which includes their rights under the Employment Standards Act, and will be able to voice their support using the online tool. Once the worker’s support has been documented, employers can complete the online form and submit it directly to the Branch.

Temporary layoffs related COVID-19 can last up to 24 weeks, or until August 30th, 2020, before this layoff becomes permanent under the BC Employment Standard’s Act. The Government is encouraging employers to submit their variance applications as soon as possible to avoid permanent layoffs and compensation.

The application can be found on the Government of BC website.

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