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Temporary Layoffs in Alberta

[COVID-19] Alberta Temporary Layoffs: What Employees Need to Know

Update: Alberta Temporary Layoff has been extended to 180 days. Click here to read more.
This information is currently being updated to reflect the developing legal landscape in Alberta. Please check back later for the updated article.

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32 Responses

  1. Kumar

    I received a recall notice with an end date. It looks like My position does have a term and and end date even though I was a full time employee. The letter says:-
    ”We are pleased to notify you that your position is temporarily available and this letter is our OFFICIAL NOTICE OF RECALL to you.
    You are expected to return to work for a term appointment from September 21, 2020, to March 31, 2021. Your salary and hours of work will remain the same. Please confirm receipt and acknowledgment by September 19th, 2020. As we navigate through these changing times, your job description may be updated to reflect the new and different tasks you may be undertaking as per the Terms of Employment Governing Management and Program, Supervisory and Professional
    Employees.
    This letter also serves as working notice of the end date of March 31, 2021 for the temporary work that was available. You will then automatically return to a Temporary Layoff Status. As this contract has a clear start and end date, you will not be eligible for pay in lieu of notice.”

    Changing a fundamental term of a contract – such as making my position a term position – can this be constructive dismissal???

  2. Jennifer lite

    Hello Just a quick question – I work in the restauraunt industry. I was laid off in MArch due to Covid. Since then my work has reopened but not called back ALL staff.

    1. IS my employer obligated to hire workers back in order of seniority? Meaning If I have worked for there 10 years can he can back an emplyee who has only been there 2 years, before calling me back?

    2 . Can I, at this point (months into the layoff) refuse to be lai off and ask my employer to fire me instead?

    Thanks in advance!

  3. Randall

    I was given a 120 day temporary layoff from a Calgary based energy company on March 31 / 2020 , reason given ” In response the realities of declining economic conditions in our industry to falling oil prices , and the impact on our business arising from the reduction of activity by our clients ” .this was agreed upon and signed off by both parties. Just recently I received an email from the company attempting to extend my layoff to 180 days, and again reason given for my continued layoff ” Due to ongoing declining economic conditions ” . As I understand it Employment Standards AB is permitting a 60 day extension to 180 days for layoffs specifically related to COVID19 conditions only . As I was informed on March 31 / 2020 by the Mngr. who handled my layoff ” my layoff had nothing to do with COVID19 and I would have to go on EI and have nothing to do with CERB ” I believe I am not applicable to a 180 day layoff and should be returning to work or terminated …….I’m curious of your thoughts on this ruling call ?

  4. Chris

    My brother was fired yesterday after being layed off since early March after college closed down and forced him to be layed off.

    He was never give notice of the lay off in writing,he had gone into work after schools closed down for his apprenticeship and was told he would stay layed off until the business picked up.

    Since then multiple people have been hired externally while he’s been waiting for a call back.

    About 1 and half month ago he was called and told that they would be looking to bring him back in 2 to 3 weeks and then never called him. So he followed a couple weeks after which was a few days ago and now they phoned him and told him he was not coming back and fired! Again nothing in writing.

    They are giving him 2 weeks severance even though he’s been with the company for 6+ years.

    They have been getting away with so many things for years and just wondering if he’s entilted to anything else cause this is some total bs.

    1. Jeneba Stewart

      Hello Chris, thank you for your comment. We would be pleased to assist your brother with a review of his severance package and legal options. Please contact me directly at jstewart@west-legal.ca to book a consultation.

    1. Jeneba Stewart

      Hello Matt,

      Thank you for your comment. As a general rule, there isn’t anything preventing someone from working elsewhere while on a temporary lay-off. Keep in mind that this may impact your EI/CERB benefits. In addition, if your original employer recalls you back, you will need to return within 7 days, therefore, you would need to make sure you could leave the other employment quite quickly as to not jeopardize your original position.

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