It was during the month of April 2020 that the Government of Alberta came up with the implementation of temporary changes to employment standards. This was done for helping the employers while navigating the exceptional circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic:
- The time period associated with temporary layoffs has been increased from 60 days to 120 days. It is subjected to limited conditions which might provide for an additional extension. It is to be noted that these changes are applicable to short-term layoffs related to COVID-19 (took place on or after March 17, 2020).
- There is no need for employers to give any sort of group termination notice to affected staff and unions while carrying out the termination of the service of 50 or more employees. But the employers need to provide group termination notice to the Minister of Labour and Immigration. It is to be noted that the individuals are still permitted to constitutional notice of termination, or pay (in lieu thereof).
Changes in Employment Rules in Canada are likely to hurt the Job prospects and Earnings level in Canada, especially for new immigrants
- The employers do not have to give the workers the 24-hours’ written notice related to shifting changes. Similarly, the obligation for employers to give workers two weeks’ notice of changes related to the work agendas under averaging concurrence has been effectively removed.
- It is to be noted that all those employees who are caring for self-isolated or ill family members due to COVID-19 pandemic or for kids who have been affected by the closing of daycares and schools and daycares, now get away into honorary job-protected leave.
- The duration of the unpaid leave has also been made flexible and there is no prerequisite to have been employed by the same company for 90 days to meet the criteria.
- The procedure to get approvals for alteration to service standards under the Code has been altered to authorize employees as well as employers to react faster to varying conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the provincial government, these temporary changes to the Code have been made effective from 6 April 2020. The changes will remain effective till the time the provincial government decides they are required and the public health crisis order remains in effect.