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Answer for vacation-accruals-during-temporary-lay-off

Temporary layoff requirements vary by jurisdiction, but I have included some information below. 

  1. It is dependent on how vacation time/pay is managed, is it accrual pay or accrual time? A temporary layoff is considered a suspension of employment, but if you award vacation on an annual basis and an employee is laid off in September, but returns in February, they would be awarded their annual vacation entitlement for the new year. You could be in a situation where the time and pay are not balanced, and you can either choose to run a deficit or pay out at a lower rate.
  2. the waiting period for EI is the same for layoffs, temporary layoffs, or an cessation in employment – 2 weeks – there are some exceptions for medical leave and others, but this would not apply here.

Key considerations: layoffs in BC, Alberta, Ontario and federally
 

Jurisdiction
When does a layoff begin? Is the employer required to provide notice?
What is the maximum layoff period?

Ontario

There is no statutory requirement for notice of temporary layoff. Employees are deemed to be on layoff in any week where they earn less than half of what they would earn at their regular rate in a regular work week.
If employees do not have a “regular work week” their earnings over the 12 weeks prior to the beginning of the layoff period are averaged to determine what they would normally earn in a week.
Employees are not considered to be on layoff during weeks when they are not available to work, they are subject to disciplinary suspension or they are not provided with work due to a strike or lock-out.

Up to 13 weeks in any consecutive 20-week period
 
or
Up to 35 weeks in any consecutive 52-week period, if any one of a number of enumerated conditions are met. These conditions include (but are not limited to):

  • The employer continues to make substantial payments to the employee; or
  • The employer continues to pay into the employee’s benefits or pension plan for the duration of the layoff period; or
  • The employee receives supplementary unemployment benefits; or
  • For non-unionized employees, the employer calls the employee back to work within the time set out in an agreement between the employer and employee.

or
In the case of unionized employees, a period of more than 35 weeks in any 52-week period where the employer recalls the employee within the time set out in an agreement between the employer and union.
Between March 1, 2020, and July 30, 2022, any reduction or elimination of a non-unionized employee’s hours of work for reasons related to COVID-19 are not considered a temporary layoff, and are instead treated as an indefinite “Declared Emergencies and Infectious Disease Emergencies Leave.”

Jurisdiction
When does a layoff begin? Is the employer required to provide notice?
What is the maximum layoff period?

British Columbia

There is no statutory requirement for notice of temporary layoff. Employees are deemed to be on layoff in any week where they earn less than half of what they would earn at their regular wage in a regular work week (averaged over the previous 8 weeks).

Up to 13 weeks in any period of 20 consecutive weeks, or, for an employee who has a right of recall under a collective agreement, within the specified period in the collective agreement under which the employee has a right to be recalled. 

Jurisdiction 
When does a layoff begin? Is the employer required to provide notice?
What is the maximum layoff period?

Alberta

To avoid a termination of employment an employer must provide an employee with written layoff notice that: 

  • States it is a temporary layoff notice;
  • States the date the layoff begins;
  • Includes a copy of sections 62, 63 and 64 of Alberta’s Employment Standards Code;
  • Includes any other information required by regulation. 

Generally, 90 days within a 120-day period
However, that period can be extended if:

  • The employer, with the employee’s agreement, (i) pays the employee wages or an amount instead of wages, or (ii) makes payments for the benefit of the laid-off employee in accordance with a pension or employee insurance plan or similar plan.
  • There is a collective agreement binding the employer and employee containing recall rights for employees.

If an employee is laid off for reasons related to COVID-19 the maximum layoff period is 90 days in a 180-day period. This extended layoff period will apply until repealed by the Alberta government.

Jurisdiction
When does a layoff begin? Is the employer required to provide notice?
What is the maximum layoff period?

Federal

Notice of a temporary layoff is not generally required.
However, notice to the employee is required for temporary layoffs exceeding three months, if the employer recalls the employee within six months from the first day of the layoff. In that case, the recall date must be included in the notice sent to employees.

Generally, three months or less.
However, the layoff may exceed three months if:
a) It is a result of a strike or lockout;
b) It is 12 months or less and mandatory under a minimum work guarantee in a collective agreement;
c) The employer gives the employee notice of layoff and a fixed period of layoff or a fixed date of recall within six months of the start of the layoff, and the employer in fact recalls the employee within that period.
d) The term of the layoff is more than three months and:

  • the employee continues to receive payments in an amount mutually agreed upon
  • the employer continues to make payments to a pension plan or under a group or employee insurance plan
  • the employee receives supplementary unemployment benefits, or
  • the employee would be entitled to supplementary unemployment benefits, but is disqualified from receiving them under the Employment Insurance Act; or

e) It is more than three, but less than 12, months and the employee maintains recall rights pursuant to a collective agreement. 

Layoff laws are unique in each jurisdiction in Canada.