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British Columbia, Aug 5 (Canadian-Media): A simplified variance application process was launched in July 2020 by B.C.'s Ministry of Labour to help businesses navigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic more easily, media reports said.
Harry Bains. Image credit: Twitter Handle
Workers and employers needing to extend temporary layoffs beyond the Aug. 30, 2020, expiry date should apply for a variance using the Employment Standards Branch’s new online application by Aug. 25.
“I urge any employers who think they need to extend temporary staff layoffs further, to please read the information we have online and reach out if you have any questions,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “We have made the application process simple and easy to use and there are ministry staff available to help guide an employer through the process or answer any questions.”
The new two-step online application simplifies and streamlines the process for employers and workers to jointly apply for an extension by allowing documents and signatures to be submitted electronically.
in the first step employers reach out to their employees to ensure they have more than 50 percent support from them before applying. Workers Would then be informed about the variance, including their rights under the Employment Standards Act, and will be able to voice their support using the online tool. After documentation of the worker support is completed, employers can complete the online form and submit directly to the Employment Standards Branch.
Under B.C.’s Employment Standards Act, temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 can last up to 24 weeks, or until Aug. 30, 2020, before the layoff becomes permanent. Government Employers are encouraged to submit their variance applications now to avoid permanent staff layoffs and compensation for length of service to eligible workers upon the expiry of the COVID-19 emergency layoff period Aug. 30.
Employers are also encouraged to take advantage of the federal wage subsidy to assist them in bringing workers back.