HR Home Forums Answer for What to do with an employee who is stuck in another country due to COVID

Conner Lantz
Post count: 4836

No, you can’t. Under Sec. 52.12(2)(e) of the BC Employment Standards Act, an employee stuck outside the province and can’t return to BC due to travel restrictions is entitled to unpaid COVID-19. Sec. 52.12(3) specifies that the leave last for as long as the employee remains stuck outside BC. I’ve copied the relevant provisions below. All you can really do now is keep trying to contact the employee and find out what her intentions are. Does she plan to come back? If not, you may be able to terminate her employment.
Final point: The answer might be different if your company is federally regulated and not subject to BC ESA. Hope that helps. Glenn

COVID-19-related leave
52.12   ((2)An employee who requests leave under this section is entitled to unpaid leave for the period described in subsection (3) if, in relation to COVID-19, any of the following applies:
(e)the employee is outside the province and cannot return to British Columbia because of travel or border restrictions;
(3)An employee is entitled to leave under this section for as long as a circumstance described in subsection (2) applies to the employee.