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jointly apply for a variance to extend the time period specified in the definition
of “temporary layoff” where, for example, the employee will be laid
off for a period exceeding 13 weeks, but the employer still has definite
plans to recall the employee by a specific date. Lastly, whether or not the
temporary layoff period is extended pursuant to a variance, s. 63(5) of the
B.C. ESA provides that the effective date of termination is the first day of
In Alberta, the provisions regarding “temporary layoff” are found primarily
in ss. 62, 63, and 64 of the Employment Standards Code3 (“Alberta ESC”):
62 If an employer wishes to maintain an employment relationship without
terminating the employment of an employee, the employer may
temporarily lay off the employee.
Termination pay after temporary layoff
63(1) On the 60th consecutive day of temporary layoff, an employee’s
employment terminates and the employer must pay the employee termination
pay on that day.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if
(a) after the layoff starts, and by agreement between the employer
and employee, an employer pays the employee wages or an amount
instead of wages, in which case the employment terminates and termination
pay is payable when the agreement ends;
(b) the employer makes payments for the benefit of the laid-off
employee in accordance with a pension or employee insurance plan
or the like, in which case employment terminates and termination
pay is payable when the payments cease;
(c) there is a collective agreement binding the employer and
employee containing recall rights for employees following layoff, in
which case employment terminates and termination pay is payable
when the recall rights expire.
Effect of failure to return to work after recall
64(1) If an employee fails to return to work within 7 consecutive days
after being requested to do so in writing by the employer, the employee
is not entitled to termination notice or termination pay if the employer
decides to terminate the employee’s employment as a result of the
employee’s failure to return to work in accordance with the recall notice.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an employee bound by a collective
agreement containing recall rights for employees following a layoff.
Section 62 affirmatively grants the employer a right to temporarily layoff
its employees. However, temporary layoff cannot exceed 59 days in duration.
Pursuant to s. 63(1), on the 60th consecutive day of temporary layoff,
the employee’s employment will be deemed to have terminated and the