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Deadline to recall laid-off workers extended.

The Federal government announced that they are extending the time period for temporary layoffs to allow employers more time to recall laid-off employees.

Prior to these changes, employers covered by the Canada Labour Standards Regulations could temporarily lay-off their employees for 1) up to three months if no notice with a recall date was provided or for a period of up to six months if notice was provided with an expected recall date, before the lay-off became a termination. These changes temporarily extend the lay-off time periods by up to six months.

  • For employees laid off prior to March 31, 2020, the time period is extended by six months or to December 30, 2020, whichever occurs first.
  • For employees laid off between March 31, 2020, and September 30, 2020, the time period is extended until December 30, 2020, unless a later recall date was provided in a written notice at the time of the layoff

These changes, which came into effect on June 22, 2020, do 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. The previous rules will apply to layoffs occurring after September 30, 2020.

Please see the announcement for more information.

For reference, on June 1st the Ontario government announced a temporary change to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) that put non-unionized employees covered under the ESA who have had their hours reduced or eliminated due to COVID-19 on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave. This change was implemented to ensure that businesses are not forced to terminate employees after their ESA temporary layoff periods have expired. Please see the June 1st announcement for more information.


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