The province is reminding workers and employers who need to extend temporary layoffs beyond the Aug. 30 expiry date to apply for a variance.
The variance application deadline is Aug. 25 and can be done using the Employment Standards Branch’s new online application.
The government said the application deadline for workers and employers to jointly apply for an extension is set for Aug. 25 to ensure that all applications will be processed by the Aug. 30 expiry date.
“I urge any employers who think they need to extend temporary staff layoffs further, to please read the information we have online and reach out if you have any questions,” Minister of Labour Harry Bains said in a statement.
“We have made the application process simple and easy to use and there are ministry staff available to help guide an employer through the process or answer any questions.”
In July 2020, the Ministry of Labour launched a simplified variance application process to respond to COVID-19.
The two-step online application allows employers and workers to jointly apply for an extension by allowing documents and signatures to be submitted electronically.
Employers have to reach out to their workforce to ensure they have more than 50 per cent support from workers before applying. Workers will then receive information about the variance, including their rights under the Employment Standards Act, and will be able to voice their support using the online tool.
Once worker support is documented, employers can complete the online form and submit directly to the Employment Standards Branch.
Under B.C.’s Employment Standards Act, temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 can last up to 24 weeks, or until Aug. 30, 2020, before the layoff becomes permanent. The provincial government said employers should submit their variance applications now to avoid permanent staff layoffs and compensation for length of service to eligible workers upon the expiry of the COVID-19 emergency layoff period Aug. 30.
Visit the updated website for temporary layoff variance applications here: www.gov.bc.ca/covidlayoffs
For more information on employment standards around temporary layoffs, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/