The B.C. government just announced some good news for anyone who has been temporarily laid off due to COVID-19. According to the provincial government, the temporary layoff period in B.C. was extended to 16 weeks from the previous 13 weeks. This means that you can now collect EI for longer and you could be more likely to secure your old job when things open back up. 

Since COVID-19 health orders were put in place, tons of people have found themselves temporarily laid off. With many collecting EI and provincial benefits, the B.C. government now wants to take things one step further to ensure everyone is protected. 

According to a press release by the provincial government, the temporary layoff period in B.C. will be increased to 16 weeks. 

This is to help ease financial hardship on businesses and to keep employees connected with their jobs during the pandemic. Especially if you are not fortunate enough to work from home

Under the Employment Standards Act, a temporary layoff longer than 13 weeks in any 20-week period was considered a permanent layoff. 

When it is considered a permanent layoff, employers are required to provide employees with written working notice of termination or pay severance. 

Now, anyone temporarily laid off because of COVID-19 can extend this to 16 weeks, therefore not having to carry out a formal termination until that point. 

By extending the period, it allows for people to benefit from federal and provincial funding.

Relief funding includes the province's new Emergency Benefit for Workers grant of a one-time, tax-free payment of $1,000.

It will also allow employees to keep their jobs even if they are not working.

The provincial government has stated that these temporary layoff provisions are not meant to be permanent and will be repealed when they are no longer needed. 

This means that after COVID-19, the layoff period will return to the normal 13 weeks. 

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