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Government changes to Employment Standards Act make sense.

The government has announced that instead of the existing rules you describe, if employees are not called back to work within 6 weeks of the state of emergency being over, only then will they be deemed to be terminated. The government says this legislation is being brought in in part to avoid business bankruptcies. If businesses can’t open and suddenly have to pay out termination and severance pay under the Act, it could end the business. I think the changes make sense. Why should the employment relationship be deemed to be terminated because of the passage of 13 weeks when the employer would love nothing better than to be able to call employees back to work? It is out of their hands.

If the law was not changed and employers were forced to pay out termination and/or severance pay the cash flow issues might kill the business. If the business is still around when things open up the employer will want to call back their already trained staff. It does not seem fair that the employees should receive the government emergency funds and the Employment Standards Act payments as well as their job back.

For the employees it would be a win, win, win. Not so much for the employer. For many employees this will not change anything. People know that their employer is not able to call them back to work and even if they have the right to claim termination pay they will decline. They’d rather have a job to return to and an employment relationship still alive and well.
Ed Canning
Ed Canning
P: 905.572.5809
ecanning@rossmcbride.com