FILE – B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains arrives at the start of the debate at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, June 26, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

FILE – B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains arrives at the start of the debate at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, June 26, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. extends temporary layoff period to 24 weeks due to COVID-19 pandemic

New limit will closely match CERB timeline

The province has extended how long companies can temporarily lay off workers due to the pandemic.

In a Thursday (June 25) news release, the labour ministry said the temporary layoff period was being extended to 24 weeks, up from 16 weeks declared in early May. That eight-week extension would see the temporary program expire at about the same time at the CERB, which was extended by the same time period earlier this month.

Labour Minister Harry Bains said the extension would allow for greater flexibility for workers and employers alike. The extension moves the temporary layoff period to Aug. 30.

“This will also give additional time to ensure that employers and workers are able to craft agreements if there is a need to further extend temporary layoffs, while still protecting workers’ rights to compensation for length of service,” he said.

The labour ministry said the goal of the extension was to maintain links between employers and employees, which can also allow workers to keep their benefit plans amid a temporary layoff.

Bains said the province heard “loud and clear” from employers that the extension was needed. B.C. entered Phase 3 of its COVID-19 recovery plan this week, but many businesses are still dealing with financial issues due to the pandemic.

READ MORE: Labour minister stands ground as B.C. business leaders demand temporary layoff extension

In a statement, UNITE HERE Local 40 president Zailda Chan, whose union represents represents hotel and hospitality workers in B.C., said she was “incredibly disappointed” with the decision.

“This decision falls far short of what laid-off workers need to stay connected to their jobs,” Chan said in a release, noting the extension would further delay possible severance payments for out-of-work staff.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

British ColumbiaCoronavirusLabour

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pacific Coastal Airline flights 8P1543 on Feb. 22 and 8P1538 on Feb. 24 had cased of COVID-19 onboard, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control. (Pacific Coastal Airlines photo)
Two flights between Kelowna and Victoria report COVID-19 exposures

Pacific Coastal Airlines flights on Feb. 22 and Feb. 24 affected

Organizers say some 100 vehicles rallied against plans by the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Victoria to sell 40 acres of its 98-acre property in Metchosin. (Barb Sawatsky/Submitted)
Proposed subdivision of green space in Metchosin draws 100 vehicles in protest

Plans for land owned by Boys Girls Club of Greater Victoria affects entire region, say residents

BC Housing ensures that by March 31, shelter will be available to all people living outside. (Black Press Media file photo)
All unhoused Victoria residents will be offered shelter by March 31, says BC Housing

BC Housing working to secure shelter locations in coming weeks

Robert Schram, here seen in January 2016, died Saturday, according to a friend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney, Saanich Peninsula mourn the death of Mr. Beads

Bead artist Robert Schram was a familiar, well-loved figure in Sidney and beyond

Saanich Coun. Susan Brice and Mayor Fred Haynes are calling on the province to develop new solutions for emergency response to mental health crises with the consideration of a potential new 911 category. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich mayor, councillor call for new solutions to mental health emergencies

Shifting response from police to trained mental health team the best option, mayor says

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

B.C.’s court of appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Kootenay man appeals 7-year conviction for New Year’s Eve kidnapping, beating

Brandon Coons, 27, was convicted on five charges, including assault with a weapon

Nootka Sound RCMP responded to a workplace fatality report south of Gold River on Monday morning. (Campbell River Mirror photo)
One dead in workplace accident at Gold River logging site

The RCMP and Work Safe BC are investigating the incident at Western Forest Product’s TFL 19

Ladysmith’s famous Festival of Lights decorations are still up as of March 1, 2021. (Cole Schisler photo)
PHOTOS: It’s still looking a lot like Christmas in Ladysmith

Festival of Lights volunteers cannot remove the holiday roof top displays due to COVID-19

An investigation is underway after two VPD officers were recorded posing for pictures near a dead body at Third Beach on Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
Vancouver officers placed on desk duty after filmed posing next to dead body

Pair put in ‘non-deployable, admin positions’ as the investigation into their conduct continues

(Black Press file photo)
Homicide team to look into death of 11-year-old Agassiz boy

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

A publicly accessible defibrillator as well as naloxone and first aid kits are included in a stand that has been installed at Crescent Beach. It is one of two planned for the South Surrey neighbourhood as St. John Ambulance works to install 1,000 of the life-saving devices around the province. (Contributed photo)
St. John Ambulance aims to install 1,000 publicly accessible AEDs across B.C.

Sponsors sought for stands that cost about $8,000 to equip and install

Left: Oakland County Jail. Right: Canuck Todd Bertuzzi on November 2, 2005. (CP/Chuck Stoody)
Former Vancouver Canuck Todd Bertuzzi arrested for suspected DUI: report

The Canadian winger had a complicated history in the NHL

Most Read