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Chamber wants extension on temporary layoff timeline

VERNON – The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is calling on the provincial government to take immediate steps that support business owners and workers in B.C.
In a letter to Labour Minister Harry Bains, the Chamber requests that the government amend the Employment Standards Act to include a further extension to the period employees can be laid off before they are considered terminated.
“Presently, many businesses – primarily in the accommodations and tourism sectors – have been unable to reopen and bring their employees back. If those layoffs transform into terminations, employers will be left with significant severance costs and some businesses may be forced into bankruptcy or will close permanently,” said Krystin Kempton, Greater Vernon Chamber president.
“For those that do eventually reopen, termination means employers will lose the ability to recall skilled and experienced team members, while for the employees, termination will end access to benefits and the hope of resuming careers.”

Extending the temporary layoff time limit to Aug. 31, 2020 would bring the province in alignment with federal initiatives including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, as well as other provinces that have amended their temporary layoff time limits. Further extensions may be necessary as more businesses transition into reopening.

“The current situation remains extremely challenging for business owners and their employees and if British Columbia’s economy is going to recover from the pandemic, all reasonable measures must be taken to ensure support systems are in place. A ministerial order extending the temporary layoff period would provide employers and employees with certainty,” said Kempton.
Richard Rolke, Communications Coordinator    
Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce   
E:  P: 250.545.0771