VICTORIA, B.C. – Since the Province has started the process to protect jobs and workers that are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 500 variances have protected more than 9,100 jobs.
Minister of Labour, Harry Bains, says, “Our goal has been to protect jobs and give businesses that are struggling to reopen additional time, so they won’t be forced to terminate their employees. By using the variance process to extend temporary layoffs, hundreds of employers will now be able to recall their trained, valued and knowledgeable staff, and thousands of workers can now continue to access their work-related benefits while the business restarts.”
The government first extended the temporary layoff period from 13 to 16 weeks in May. In late June, the government extended this period to 24 weeks, which expired on August 30th. Both of these extensions were designed to coincide with the availability of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
From July 20 to August 30, the Employment Standards Branch approved 502 applications covering 9,154 workers with an average approval time of three days or less. Jobs in 11 different economic sectors have been protected, including tourism, hospitality, transportation, forestry, communication, entertainment, and recreation.
More information on the employment standards around temporary layoffs is on the Government of B.C.’s website.