As covered in our blog post on June 26th, the BC government extended the temporary layoff period from 16 weeks to 24 weeks until August 30, 2020 for layoffs caused by COVID-19. As of August 30th, employees who are on a temporary layoff (and are not recalled) will be deemed to have been terminated and termination pay will be owing to the employee. There are exceptions to this, such as where the “impossibility” or “frustration” exception in section 65(1)(d) of the ESA applies to the terminations. Also, employers can apply for a variance to extend the August 30th deadline.
With the August 30th deadline rapidly approaching, employers need to decide now whether they can recall their employees who are still on a temporary layoff. If they cannot, they need to jointly apply with their employees to seek a variance from the BC Employment Standards Branch. The portal for seeking a variance can be found here.
The website suggests that applications made by August 25th will be processed by August 30th.