We are a federally legislated company operating across Western Canada, we have an operation in SK where we need to do a short term layoff with a call back date under 3 months. As per federal legislation I do not believe that notice has to be given for the short term layoff, but in the past we have used SK provincial legislation regarding the notice period which varies with the employees tenure. What are our legal obligations regarding the notice period relative to the short term layoff described above?
This is a tough one to answer without knowing more about the situation, why you provided the SK-required notice (which I presume is more generous than the federal requirements) and the particular industry you’re in.
One immediate risk I’d point is exposure to a claim for constructive dismissal, which arises any time employers impose unfavourable changes in employment conditions. The risk would be particularly acute if you implement the change unilaterally; conversely, you’d be on stronger legal grounds if the contract contains a provision allowing the employer to lay off employees for short periods of time. Also remember that even if the ESA laws of the jurisdiction ALLOW FOR short term layoffs, the right isn’t necessarily automatically given to management, especially if the contract precludes it.
I hope this helps but if it doesn’t, give me more info about the situation and I may be able to give the Q a second shot. Glenn