Apply for a COVID-19 Temporary Layoff Variance

In June, the provincial government extended the time period for temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 to a maximum of 24 weeks, from the regular 13 week time limit.  Temporary layoffs are deemed to be terminations after this point and employees are entitled to receive pay in lieu of notice and possible severance.

But this extension to 24 weeks expires August 30th and businesses with staff needing lay-offs of of longer than 13 weeks that will continue past August 30 will need to apply for a variance to continue with the temporary layoff.

Employers with plans to recall employees by a date that falls after August 30, 2020 can apply to extend the temporary layoff through a variance to the Act with the Employment Standards Branch

If your temporary layoff ends before August 30, 2020, you do not need to apply.

There are two steps to the application. Employers must:

  • Inform Employees of the Intention to Apply
    • This is a joint application. Before applying, you must make sure that the majority of affected employees are aware of the application and agree to continue to be temporarily laid-off from work.More than 50% of affected employees must approve the decision to apply for a variance and you must have documentation of this approval. If a majority decision is not reached, an employer cannot proceed with the application.
  • Apply Online Through the Portal