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Alberta expands temporary layoff time limit from 60 to 120 days

Jason Kenney

The Alberta government is increasing the maximum time for temporary layoffs from 60 days to 120 days to ensure temporarily laid-off employees stay attached to a job longer.

On Monday afternoon, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the government is changing the employment standards code to help businesses respond to COVID-19.

Kenney said the changes to temporary layoffs will be retroactive for any temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 that occurred on or after March 17.

Employees caring for children affected by school and daycare closures or ill or self-isolated family members due to COVID-19 will have access to unpaid job-protected leave. The 90-day employment requirement is waived and leave length is flexible.

The province will also be removing a 24-hour written notice requirement for shift changes and the two weeks notice for changes to work schedules for those under an averaging agreement.

The province will be removing the requirement to provide group termination notices to employees and unions when 50 or more employees are being terminated. They will also be streamlining the process for approvals related to modifying employment standards so employers and workers can respond quicker to changing conditions at the workplace due to the public health emergency.

The changes take effect immediately and will be in place as long as government determines it is needed and the public health emergency order remains.