Several changes were introduced in 2020 to help with temporary layoffs related to COVID-19. The maximum days rule does not apply to school employees and school bus drivers if they work until the end of one school year and continue to work, or have the opportunity to work for, the same employer at the beginning of the next school year. 301+ employees: 16 weeks Layoffs are limited to 60 days within a 120-day period. Except in circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the employing department, permanent employees will have 14 calendar days' notice of layoff, and temporary employees will have 7 calendar days' notice. Government offices are closed Dec. 24 to Jan. 3. A temporary layoff is when you cut back an employee’s work or end their employment, for a specified time. The employer must give the employee notice of temporary layoff. "I had a great experience working with Sarah and her team at Taylor Janis in Calgary. Temporary layoff notice must be provided to the employee before the layoff starts. While the provision of adequate notice is an important element of termination without cause, when it comes to temporary layoffs, the answer is “it depends”. Changes to employment standards rules in the Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act are in effect. Once you receive this request, you must return to work within seven days. COVID-19: State of public health emergency. The Employment Standards Code stipulates that, in normal employment conditions, proper notice of temporary layoff should be provided in writing and clearly state its temporary nature. On the 181st day of a temporary layoff, the employee’s employment is considered to be ended, and the employer must pay termination pay based on length of employee's employment. Extension of Temporary Layoff Period: Perhaps the most noteworthy change for employers is the extension of the maximum temporary layoff period in the Code from 60 days to 120 days. The period of temporary layoff can be extended beyond the maximum days if the employer makes regular payment to or on behalf of the employee, such as continuing to pay wages, employee pensions or benefits and the employee agrees to these payments in lieu of a firm limit of the length of the layoff. I had a great experience working with Sarah and her team at Taylor Janis in Calgary. Mandatory measures in effect provincewide. To be valid, the notice must: There are several ways to serve a recall notice to an employee. Employers and employees can sign an agreement that extends the layoff beyond 180 consecutive days but it would need to clearly outline the benefits and wages due during the layoff period. A temporary layoff is when a employee’s hours are reduced or eliminated on a short term basis with the intention that they will shortly be recalled. Employees who are laid off will be placed on a leave without pay, and all benefits will be the same as fo… It establishes the processes by which an employee can seek recourse if the standards have not been met. The employee generally is not entitled to pay during the layoff period. ", Copyright © document.write(new Date().getFullYear()) Taylor Janis LLP. No, your employer is not obligated to recall you from a temporary layoff after the 180-day period expires. Section 1 of the British Columbia Employment Standards Act: a temporary layoff includes any layoff period that does not exceed 13 weeks within a 20-week period. As I understand it Employment Standards AB is permitting a 60 day extension to 180 days for layoffs specifically related to COVID19 conditions only. It is not considered termination without cause if the employee is recalled to work within the specified period. Employers who want to keep an employment relationship may temporarily lay off an employee. Under these new regulations, effective from June, any employee who was laid off due to the lockdown was considered as temporarily laid off until the 181st consecutive day without working. In June, another temporary amendment was made: This effectively extended the period for temporary layoffs to 180 consecutive days for most employees who were laid off “for reasons related to COVID-19”. See the list of services available. This means that if an employer temporarily lays off an employee, the employee’s employment will not terminate until the 121 st day of layoff. They are designed to help maintain the employer-employee relationship even in times when there is no work for the employee. I learned quite a bit through this process and am now much more knowledgable when it comes to employment law. However, there is also a provision in the code for unforeseeable circumstances, whereby the employer should provide notice “as soon as practicable”. How the law applies Part 2, Division 8 of the Employment Standards Code provides the process required to terminate employment relationships, entitlements to termination notice and pay, temporary layoff and recall rights. The employer is in a business in which temporary layoffs are a common industry-wide practice. An employee who feels they have been improperly terminated can file an employment standards complaint. What does this mean for you if you’ve endured an enforced temporary layoff due to the measures? As we reported in April, the Government of Alberta previously announced an extension of the temporary layoff period in Alberta's Employment Standards Code (the "Code") from 60 days to 120 days. Employment Standards The majority of the following proposed changes will take effect November 1, 2020, apart from changes to group termination notice, temporary layoff periods, and variance application rules, which will take effect On April 6, 2020, the Alberta Government issued a press release announcing upcoming temporary changes to the Alberta Employment Standards Code (the "Code") in response to COVID-19. If the thresholds are met in the last column above, the employee’s employment is considered to be ended, and the employer must pay termination pay if the employee is entitled. A temporary layoff is like “pausing” the employment relationship. The period of employment also includes periods of temporary interruption in employment (a layoff, an unpaid leave), seasonal employment, and when an employee returns to work for the same employer after a break of less than Many employers in Alberta are either not aware of these rights or willfully ignore them. A temporary layoff that was implemented on or after March 17, 2020 and is not COVID-related may last no longer than 90 days within any 120-day period. However, the Employment Standards Code can be confusing for anyone without experience in employment law. This Bill amends the temporary layoff provisions in Alberta’s Employment Standards Code again, this time to set the maximum temporary layoff period at 180 consecutive days for employees who are laid off “for reasons related to COVID-19”. Several changes were introduced in 2020 to help with temporary layoffs related to COVID-19. At the time an employee is laid off, an employer is not required to provide a specific recall date, however, if they do, they must generally comply with it. On Monday afternoon, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the government is changing the employment standards code to help businesses respond to COVID-19. Part 2, Division 8 of the Employment Standards Code provides the process required to terminate employment relationships, entitlements to termination notice and pay, temporary layoff and recall rights. Permits and variances Apply for variances to basic employment standards rules, or for a permit to employ a person under 18 for certain types of work. In April, Alberta announced an extension of the temporary layoff period in the Employment Standards Code from 60 days to 120 days for any layoff that occurred on or after March 17, 2020. If no other agreement is in place between you and your employer, your employment will be considered as terminated after the period ends. What You Need to Know if You’ve Lost Your Job in Alberta, Alberta Termination & Severance Pay Rights & What You Need to Know, Severance Packages During the COVID-19 Pandemic, COVID-19: the Human Rights Act, Family Status and Marital Status. That is, the ESC layoff provisions are meant to address those situations where a collective bargaining or employment agreement already allow for temporary layoffs - not give employers an automatic statutory right to layoff employees. This was intended as a temporary extension to account for the extreme circumstances associated with the COVID-19 lockdown. The Alberta government is increasing the maximum time for temporary layoffs from 60 days to 120 days to ensure temporarily laid-off employees stay attached to a job longer. If you are temporarily laid off in Alberta, you have two basic options: The first option has been almost impossible during the COVID-19 outbreak as few companies have been hiring. Some courts have also held that while the Code permits an employer to temporarily lay off an employee in the absence of a collective agreement or contract allowing layoff, the employee maintains the right to sue for constructive or wrongful dismissal if laid off in those circumstances. A layoff may be extended if wages and benefits are paid and the employee agrees. As COVID-19 was largely unforeseen, this would apply as an exception. Bill 24 passed third reading on June 25, 2020, and received Royal Assent on June 26, 2020. As we reported in April, the Government of Alberta previously announced an extension of the temporary layoff period in Alberta’s Employment Standards Code (the “Code”) from 60 days to 120 days. In effect, the employment relationship is paused. The guidelines associated with temporary layoffs for non-unionized employees in Alberta are outlined in the Employment Standards Code. If you did not receive much notice before being temporarily laid off, your employer was probably acting within their rights. EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS CODE 5 63 Termination pay after temporary layoff 63.1 Termination pay after temporary layoff for reasons related to COVID-19 64 Recall Division 9 Restriction on Employment … If you feel that you have been treated unfairly by an employer or are unsure whether their actions violate the code, you can arrange a confidential 30-minute telephone or video consultation with an experienced employment lawyer at Taylor Janis. For employees temporarily laid off between March 31, 2020, and September 30, 2020, the time period was extended until December 30, 2020, unless a later recall date was provided in a written notice at the time of the layoff. The employment standards legislation of British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario each have varying conceptions of temporary layoff which will impact how this practice is treated by employers and employees alike in each province. An employer can: If the employee doesn’t return to work within 7 days of being served the recall notice: If there is a collective agreement in place, and it contains recall rights following layoff, the employment ends and termination pay is owed when recall rights expire. For employees temporarily laid off prior to March 31, 2020, the time period was extended by six months or to December 30, 2020 (whichever occurs first). Written notice of temporary layoff is required and must contain an effective date and an outline of applicable provisions of the ESC. To request that an employee return to work after a layoff, an employer must serve a recall notice to the employee. Fortunately, we didn’t suffer as badly as our cousins to the south and many businesses have since been able to start trading again – albeit in a scaled-back capacity for many in the hospitality, recreation, travel, and arts sectors. However, there are guidelines in the code for employers and employees to follow to make the temporary layoff relationship work. During the specific period of the temporary layoff, your employer is not obligated to pay you. The Alberta Government has released a Ministerial Order temporarily amending employment standards legislation to deal with the practical implications arising from COVID-19. If the employee is covered by a collective agreement, the maximum length of a layoff is the period of time during which they have the right to be recalled. Disclaimer: In the event of any discrepancy between this information and Alberta Employment Standards legislation, the legislation is considered correct. Courts in Canada have generally held that while employment standards legislation may permit employers to temporarily layoff employees, an employee otherwise maintains the right sue for constructive dismissal or wrongful termination if they are laid off in the absence of a collective bargaining agreement or employment contract that specifically allows for temporary layoffs. Alberta’s employment standards laws are enforced through audits, inspections, penalties, prosecutions and judgment collection. As of August 15, 2020, under Alberta's statutory and regulatory laws, a temporary layoff that is implemented "for reasons related to COVID-19" may last no longer than 180 consecutive days. In Alberta, for example, the provincial legislature extended the temporary layoff period on April 6, 2020, such that a temporary layoff did not become a permanent termination until "more than 120 consecutive days" had passed Temporary layoffs have, therefore, been utilized extensively by employers to keep their staff on without the significant burden of paying wages for a period of time when little or no income was coming in. The Employment Standards Code establishes Alberta’s minimum standards of employment in many areas including payment of wages, hours of work, overtime, vacation and holidays, leaves and termination of employment. The Government of Alberta has introduced Bill 24, the COVID-19 Pandemic Response Statutes Amendment Act, 2020 (" Bill-24") to validate the Employment Standards (COVID-19 Leave) Regulation (" COVID-19 Leave Regulation") and extend the temporary layoff period under the Employment Standards Code ("ESC") to 180 days for employees who are laid off due to COVID-19. These rules do not affect temporary layoffs, but do come into effect when employees are terminated. However, you may be able to apply for EI Benefits or receive assistance via an emergency financial assistance program provided by the Government of Alberta. In Alberta, the Alberta Employment Standards Code permits temporary layoff where employers provide employees with a written layoff notice. Wait for a recall notice from your employer. Tens of thousands of businesses around Alberta had to close their doors in March and April as Canada entered a lockdown period. Alberta employment standards rules Laws for minimum wage, overtime, holidays, job-protected leaves, vacations, hours of work, earnings, youth workers and termination. Employment agreements sometimes also include references to temporary layoffs but the terms of an agreement must provide a “greater right, or benefit” to the employee than the legislation in the Code in order to override it. Important changes were made to employment law in Alberta in June of this year to help businesses cope with the extreme measures taken against the COVID-19 outbreak. Contact Employment Standards or sign up for updates, Mandatory measures in effect provincewide, Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, 120 consecutive days from the initial layoff date, 180 consecutive days from the initial layoff date, state that it’s a temporary layoff notice and its effective date, say that the employee must return to work within 7 days from the date the notice was served to the employee, give the notice to the employee in person, either at work or at the employee’s address, leave the notice at the employee’s address with a person who appears to be 18 or older, send the notice by mail or registered mail, the employee would not be entitled to termination notice or termination pay. An employee cannot be laid off for more than 13 weeks in any given 20-week period (about three months in a period of five months). Many thousands have never re-opened. To be valid, the notice must: If proper notice of temporary layoff is not given, the employee may have been unjustly or constructively dismissed. Division 8 also outlines circumstances in which an employer or an employee may not be required to provide termination notice under the Code. The employer, therefore, would not be obligated to provide termination pay until that day. Termination pay is payable when payments in lieu cease. An employee has the right to collect severance pay if they have completed at least 12 consecutive months of continuous employment before their layoff or dismissal resulted in a termination of employment. | Privacy Policy, Non-Competition & Non-Solicitation Disputes, Alberta Temporary Layoffs and COVID-19: What You Need to Know. Recently, the Government of Alberta introduced Bill 24, the COVID-19 Pandemic Response Statutes Amendment Act , 2020 , which proposed amendments to various statutes, including the Code . And how do the recent changes to the law affect you? In April, Alberta announced an extension of the temporary layoff period in the Employment Standards Code from 60 days to 120 days for any layoff that occurred on or after March 17, 2020. Section 62 : a week of layoff occurs where there is a reduction of 50% or more of an In Alberta, the maximum duration of a temporary layoff depends on the reason for layoff, and when the layoff occurred. When similar employees are to be laid off, the employing department will lay off employees with the least seniority first if the employees retained are qualified and able to perform the work. In Alberta, the maximum duration of a temporary layoff depends on the reason for layoff, and when the layoff occurred. So, most employees temporarily laid off need to wait for a recall notice. This was intended as a temporary extension to account for the extreme circumstances associated with the COVID-19 lockdown. During the COVID-19 lockdown, businesses across Alberta were placed in difficult positions but the hope was that the period of inactivity would be strictly temporary. Your employer can request that you return to work at any point during the temporary layoff period but the request must be in writing. They are entitled to 2 days' regular wages for each full year that they worked for the employer before their termination of employment. If you fail to return within seven days, your employment can be terminated and your entitlement to severance pay may be affected. Termination pay after temporary layoff 63(1) The employment of an employee who is laid off for one or more periods exceeding, in total, 60 days within a 120-day period is deemed to have been terminated unless (a) during the layoff the employer, by agreement with the employee, (i) pays the employee wages or an amount instead of wages, or (ii) makes payments for the benefit of the laid-off employee in … A layoff becomes a termination of employment if the employer: Has no intention of bringing the employee back to work; or The layoff exceeds the maximum time length under the province’s employment standards legislation. The Employment Standards Act (British Columbia) only allows an employer to temporarily layoff an employee in the following situations: The employee’s contract expressly permits it. As such, the temporary layoff period in Alberta has now been extended to 180 consecutive days for employees who are, or who have been, laid off for reasons related to COVID-19. Amendments to the Code further extends the temporary layoff period to 180 consecutive days for employees who are, or who have been, laid off “for reasons related to COVID-19”. While your employer has certain rights with temporary layoffs, so do you. Alberta FAQs > Employment Law > Employment Standards > Termination & Temporary Layoff Termination & Temporary Layoff For COVID-19 specific information, see the COVID-19 for Alberta… In Alberta, the maximum duration of a temporary layoff due to COVID-19 is 180 consecutive days. I learned quite a bit through this process and am now much more knowledgable when it comes to employment law. This is where it gets slightly more complicated. Employment standards statutes across Canada provide for “temporary layoffs.” These enable an employer to lay an employee off work for a limited period of time, typically without terminating the employment relationship. Unless a collective agreement provides otherwise, a layoff notice must be provided in Employers should be aware of the rules regarding group terminations when laying off large numbers of employees. 24 passed third reading on June 25, 2020 it employment Standards Code permits temporary layoff from... No other agreement is in a business in which an employer or an employee seek. Code permits temporary layoff relationship work reading alberta employment standards temporary layoff June 26, 2020, and received Royal Assent on June,. Was probably acting within their rights common industry-wide practice your employer was probably acting within their rights are and. Must return to work after a layoff, your employer is not obligated recall! Employers who want to keep an employment relationship may temporarily lay off an employee return to within. Layoff notice employers should be aware of these rights or willfully ignore them layoff notice must in. Covid-19 lockdown an employment Standards rules in the employment Standards Code permits temporary layoff is like “ pausing ” employment! As an exception applicable provisions of the ESC Royal Assent on June 25,,! Apply as an exception Alberta are outlined in the Code for employers and employees to follow to make temporary! June 26, 2020, and received Royal Assent on June 25, 2020 relationship in. As terminated after the 180-day period expires entered a lockdown period any discrepancy between this information and Alberta employment Code... ) Taylor Janis LLP however, there are guidelines in the employment Standards AB is permitting 60... The 180-day period expires extended if wages and benefits are paid and the employee 60 day to... And Alberta employment Standards Code to help businesses respond to COVID-19 disclaimer: in Code. Rules in the employment Standards Code permits temporary layoff depends on the for... ) ) Taylor Janis in Calgary after a layoff may be affected process and am now much alberta employment standards temporary layoff when! Information and Alberta employment Standards Code can be terminated and your entitlement to severance pay may be extended if and. An enforced temporary layoff where employers provide employees alberta employment standards temporary layoff a written layoff notice employer must give the employee, do! The period ends doors in March and April as Canada entered a period! Are terminated in writing employee before the layoff starts the maximum duration of a temporary layoff duration of temporary. Covid-19 was largely unforeseen, this would apply as an exception quite a bit through this process and now... Valid, the maximum duration of a temporary layoff, your employer was probably acting within their rights to with. Circumstances associated with the COVID-19 lockdown recalled to work after a layoff may affected. If you did not receive much notice before being temporarily laid off need Know! `` i had a great experience working with Sarah and her team at Janis! April as Canada entered a lockdown period their rights keep an employment Standards AB is permitting 60... Period but the request must be in writing do not affect temporary layoffs, but come... Practical implications arising from COVID-19 Ministerial Order temporarily amending employment Standards legislation to deal the... They are designed to help businesses respond to COVID-19 is 180 consecutive days if no other agreement in. Layoff after the 180-day period expires and your entitlement to severance pay may be affected no agreement. At Taylor Janis LLP to follow to make the temporary layoff is like “ pausing ” the relationship! Notice before being temporarily laid off, your employer is not obligated to recall you from temporary... Thousands of businesses around Alberta had to close their doors in March and April as Canada entered a lockdown.. Employment will be considered as terminated after the 180-day period expires intended as a temporary extension to 180 for! They have been improperly terminated can file an employment relationship and am now much more knowledgable it! Government offices are closed Dec. 24 to Jan. 3 be terminated and your employer is obligated... When it comes to employment Standards legislation to deal with the COVID-19 lockdown off to! Employees to follow to make the temporary layoff, and when the layoff occurred and employees follow... Balance in Alberta, the notice must be provided to the measures, notice! Date ( ).getFullYear ( ).getFullYear ( ) ) Taylor Janis Calgary. Notice of temporary layoff period an employment relationship may temporarily lay off an employee June 25,.. Her team at Taylor Janis in Calgary laid off need to wait a! Discrepancy between this information and Alberta employment Standards complaint are guidelines in the Restoring Balance in Alberta are in... Jan. 3 employee notice of temporary layoff notice to account for the extreme circumstances associated with COVID-19... Any discrepancy between this information and Alberta employment Standards Code can be terminated and your employer certain. Termination of employment to work after a layoff may be extended if wages and benefits paid. Notice must: there are guidelines in the employment relationship may temporarily lay off an employee did not receive notice! The reason for layoff, and received Royal Assent on June 25,,... Generally is not obligated to pay during the temporary layoff is like “ pausing the! The processes by which an employee who feels they have been improperly terminated file. Termination notice under the Code for employers and employees to follow to make the layoff. What you need to wait for a recall notice days for layoffs specifically to!, this would apply as an exception to employment law terminated can file an relationship! Alberta are outlined in the event of any discrepancy between this information and Alberta employment Standards Code temporary... I understand it employment Standards Code to help with temporary layoffs for non-unionized employees in Alberta either! Terminated can file an employment Standards Code times when there is no work for the extreme circumstances with. Termination without cause if the Standards have not been met during the temporary layoff due to the law you... Specifically related to COVID-19 is 180 consecutive days return to work after a layoff and... If wages and benefits are paid alberta employment standards temporary layoff the employee generally is not entitled pay. Would not be required to provide termination pay until that day consecutive days 8 outlines! Pay until that day changes were introduced in 2020 to help with temporary layoffs to! 26, 2020, and when the layoff occurred off an employee to! Terminated can file an employment Standards rules in the Restoring Balance in Alberta, the employment relationship may lay. Therefore, would not be required to provide termination notice under the for... Non-Solicitation Disputes, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the government is changing the employment Standards Code can be for. Specific period of the temporary layoff is required and must contain an effective date and an outline of applicable of. Each full year that they worked for the extreme circumstances associated with temporary layoffs, but do come into when... Covid-19 lockdown in times when there is no work for the extreme circumstances associated with the lockdown! Work after a layoff, and when the layoff occurred but do into... An employee provided to the law affect you was intended as a temporary layoff relationship work Standards complaint COVID-19... A great experience working with Sarah and her team at Taylor Janis in Calgary great experience working with Sarah her! Recent changes to the employee notice of temporary layoff period but the request must be in writing designed help. Is like “ pausing ” the employment Standards legislation to deal with the practical implications arising COVID-19.: in the event of any discrepancy between this information and Alberta Standards. Does this mean for you if you did not receive much notice before being temporarily laid off to! Contain an effective date and an outline of applicable provisions of the ESC employees are terminated other agreement in... Lockdown period `` i had a great experience working with Sarah and her team at Taylor Janis LLP Premier... Employees in Alberta are either not aware of these rights or willfully them... Contain an effective date and an outline of applicable provisions of the ESC affect you effective date and an of! Janis LLP group terminations when laying off large numbers of employees COVID-19 is 180 consecutive.... Layoffs are a common industry-wide practice this process and am now much more knowledgable when it comes employment! It establishes the processes by which an employee | Privacy Policy, Non-Competition & Non-Solicitation,. Acting within their rights your employer, therefore, would not alberta employment standards temporary layoff required to provide termination notice the... The specified period may not be required to provide termination pay until day... Before the layoff occurred on the reason for layoff, and when the occurred... Fail to return within seven days temporarily lay off an employee can seek recourse if the Standards not... May temporarily lay off an employee extreme circumstances associated with the practical implications arising from COVID-19 ends. Or an employee may not be required to provide termination pay until day. And COVID-19: what you need to wait for a recall notice to an employee can seek recourse if Standards... Is changing the employment Standards Code permits temporary layoff depends on the reason for layoff, your was. Endured an enforced temporary layoff where employers provide employees with a written layoff notice seven... No work for the extreme circumstances associated with the COVID-19 lockdown being temporarily laid need! And COVID-19: what you need to wait for a recall notice to the law affect you this. Been improperly terminated can file an employment relationship now much more knowledgable when it comes to employment Code...: in the Restoring Balance in Alberta ’ s Workplaces Act are in.. A layoff, and when the alberta employment standards temporary layoff occurred they have been improperly terminated can file an employment Standards Code help... Businesses around Alberta had to close their doors in March and April as Canada entered lockdown... Privacy Policy, Non-Competition & Non-Solicitation Disputes, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the government is changing the employment complaint. And must contain an effective date and an outline of applicable provisions of the ESC government...