Temporary lay off timeline extended to 26 weeks from 13… temporarily
Twila Reid and John Samms
On Friday, June 12, 2020, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced it has extended the time period under section 50 of the Labour Standards Act (“the Act”) that converts a temporary layoff into a permanent termination.
The Order doubles the amount of time a person may be considered to have been temporarily laid off to 26 weeks from 13 weeks, so long as that timeframe is captured within a period of 33 consecutive weeks between March 18 and September 18, 2020. If a worker receives pay during the 33 week period, the number of days for which the employee is paid does not count toward the 26 week lay-off period. The deadline to make a complaint is extended to 12 months from the date the employee’s contract is terminated (the previous deadline was 6 months).
This is a temporary change as the Act itself has not been amended. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council made the Order through the Temporary Variation of Statutory Deadlines Order, made under the power of section 6 of the Temporary Variation of Statutory Deadlines Act, a creature of the provincial government’s COVID-19 response that impacts a myriad of statutory deadlines.
This move may temporarily ease some of the pressure on employers as the normal operation of the Act would have employers facing decisions to permanently terminate employees even though many businesses cannot operate as a result of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. This change allows employers to take more time to consider how best to bring employees back to work or adjust their business in accordance with the so-called “new normal”.
Employers should seek specific legal advice to understand how the above Order is applicable to their particular circumstances, including what further notice(s) if any they should provide to laid off employees.
The Order, as published in the Gazette, states as follows:
The Temporary Variation of Statutory Deadlines Order is amended by adding immediately after section 4 the following:
4.1(1) Notwithstanding section 50 of the Labour Standards Act, where an employer temporarily lays off an employee on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 18, 2020 and the lay-off exceeds 26 weeks in a period of 33 consecutive weeks, the employee shall, for the purposes of Part X of that Act be considered to have been terminated at the beginning of the 26 week period.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a day during the period of 33 consecutive weeks for which an employee receives pay, including pay the employee receives for a public holiday occurring during that period, shall not be counted in the calculation of the 26 week lay-off period set out in subsection (1).
(3) Where the 6 month period referred to in subsection 62(3) of the Labour Standards Act falls on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 18, 2020, a person may, notwithstanding subsection 62(3) of that Act, file a complaint within 12 months of the date the employee’s contract is terminated.
This article is provided for general information only. If you have any questions about the above, please contact a member of our Labour and Employment group.
Click here to subscribe to Stewart McKelvey Thought Leadership articles and updates.
By Daniela Bassan, K.C. Daniela Bassan, K.C. is a Partner and Practice Group Chair at the law firm of Stewart McKelvey (Canada) where she focuses on intellectual property and complex, multi-jurisdictional dispute resolution. The premise…Read More
By Conor O’Neil and Maria Cummings On May 9, 2023, two bills were introduced in the New Brunswick Legislature that could have material affects on the construction industry. Bills 41 and 42, of the current…Read More
Author Sara Espinal Henao, an Immigration Lawyer in our Halifax office, will be speaking on a related panel, Labour Market Impact Assessments Overview and Current Trends, at the upcoming CBA Immigration Law Conference in Ottawa,…Read More
Author Brendan Sheridan, an Immigration Lawyer in our Halifax Office, will be running a related webinar on May 30, 2023, Avoiding immigration bloopers: A webinar for the film & television industry, in partnership with Screen…Read More
Whose information is it anyway? Implications of the York University decision on public and private sector privacy and confidentiality
Included in Discovery: Atlantic Education & the Law – Issue 12 By Charlotte Henderson Privacy and confidentiality requirements are some of the most important responsibilities of organizations today. An organization’s ability to properly manage information,…Read More
Included in Discovery: Atlantic Education & the Law – Issue 12 By Hilary Newman & Jacob Zelman A non-disclosure agreement, or “NDA”, is a legal contract in which two or more persons agree to keep the…Read More
By Graham Haynes & Isaac McLellan Introduction The Canadian federal budget was unveiled on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 (“Budget 2023”)1 , and proposes significant changes to the General Anti-Avoidance Rule (the “GAAR”) in Canadian tax…Read More
When closed doors make sense: Court dismisses challenge to university board’s procedure for in camera discussions
Included in Discovery: Atlantic Education & the Law – Issue 12 By Scott Campbell, Jennifer Taylor, Folu Adesanya A long-standing dispute over governance practices at the Cape Breton University Board of Governors was recently resolved…Read More
Included in Discovery: Atlantic Education & the Law – Issue 12 By Jon O’Kane & Emma Douglas These days it seems no one is immune from the threat of anonymous keyboard warriors posting untrue and…Read More
Included in Discovery: Atlantic Education & the Law – Issue 12 By Dante Manna Once known for recreational use, psychedelics are slowly gaining medical legitimacy as research emerges on possible therapeutic benefits for mental health…Read More