Labour Minister Filomena Tassi today announced changes to extend time periods for temporary layoffs to allow employers more time to recall laid-off employees. The temporary changes will help protect the jobs of federally regulated private-sector employees and support employers facing economic hardship as a result of the pandemic.
This temporary extension of layoff periods gives greater protection to federally regulated workplaces and provides employers more time to recall employees laid-off due to COVID-19.
“The Canadian Trucking Alliance welcomes this announcement and the much-needed flexibility for employers and workers during these uncertain times,” said Jonathan Blackham, CTA Director of Policy and Public Affairs. “CTA would like to thank Minister Tassi for her leadership on this issue.”
Prior to these changes, employers could temporarily layoff their employees for up to three months before the layoff became a termination, if no notice with a recall date was provided; or for a period of up to six months if they provided a notice with an expected recall date. The amendments, which are set out in the Canada Labour Standards Regulations, temporarily extend these time periods as follows:
- Employees laid off for a period of three months or less:
- by six months for employees laid off prior to March 31, 2020;
- to December 30, 2020 for employees laid off between March 31, 2020 and September 30, 2020;
- Employees laid off for more than three months with a fixed recall date or a fixed period within six months:
- by six months or until December 30, 2020, whichever occurs first, for employees laid off prior to March 31, 2020;
- to December 30, 2020 for employees laid off between the period of March 31, 2020 and September 30, 2020, where the fixed date or fixed period specified in the written notice occurs before December 30, 2020;
- until the recall date where the fixed date or fixed period specified in the written notice occurs on or after December 30, 2020.
These changes came into effect as of June 22, 2020 for carriers subject to the Canada Labour Code. Carriers should note that this does not apply to employees who are covered by a collective agreement that contains recall rights. These changes also do not apply to employees whose employment had already been terminated prior to the coming into force of the amendments.
After September 30, 2020, the temporary extension of layoff periods will no longer apply.
Carriers intending to use this temporary extension can find details on how to do so here and here.