Victoria, British Columbia — B.C.-based Automotive Retailers Association (ARA) has raised concerns over the province’s Employment Standards Act and its connections to COVID-19 layoffs.
The Act states that a layoff exceeding 13 weeks in a period of 20 consecutive weeks is no longer considered a temporary layoff, but a termination. If the timeframe were to remain as is, ARA says many of its members could be put under more financial strain and liabilities.
“Many of our members have unfortunately had to lay off staff members due to the COVID-19 crisis. If the 13-week timeframe remains as is, many of our members would be put under more financial strain should they be required to pay out the full amount of vacation pay for all impacted employees during this time of financial crisis, in addition to any other financial liability. In addition, employees need the security of knowing that there is a job to return to,” ARA President and CEO Adrian Scovell wrote in a letter to Katie Robb, executive lead of the Joint Information Centre for COVID-19 at B.C. Public Service.
ARA believes an extension of this timeframe is necessary to ensure the province’s businesses are able to reopen and recall their employees as seamlessly as possible as B.C. works to recover from the COVID crisis and reestablish its economy.
The Pacific province’s automotive sector is not the only industry to be affected by the Employment Act’s layoff timeframe—numerous industries and a large number of employees in the province will be affected.
Click here to read ARA’s full letter.