The COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges for Canadian workers and business owners. The Canadian government wants to ensure that as many Canadians as possible have a job to return to and that businesses can grow and stay strong as the economy restarts.
Prior to the changes implemented late June 2020, employers could temporarily layoff employees for up to three months if no notice with a recall date was provided or for a period of up to six months if a notice was provided with an expected recall date before the layoff became a termination.
The changes temporarily extend these time periods by up to six months depending on when the employees were laid off. 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 23, 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.