COVID-19 Update – New Online Process for Temporary Layoff Variance Applications

July 20, 2020

Today the BC Ministry of Labour announced a new online application for workers and employers applying for a temporary layoff variance.  As mentioned in our June 29, 2020 bulletin, the maximum length of a temporary layoff related to COVID-19 was extended to 24 weeks, ending on or before August 30, 2020.

On Friday, July 17, 2020, the  Ministry committed to a short turnaround time for applications made by August 25, 2020, stating

Employers and employees can submit a joint application to extend a temporary layoff through the Employment Standards Branch (ESB) by August 25, 2020 to receive a decision by August 30, 2020.

Before applying for a variance employers must:

  • Survey their workforce to obtain more than 50% support from workers before applying. Workers will receive information about the variance, including what their rights are and can provide their support using a new online response tool;
  • Once worker support is documented, employers complete the online form and submit the document in a new portal directly to the Employment Standards Branch.

The online application form can be found here: 

For more information on variances see:

All our previous COVID-19 information bulletins can be found on Roper Greyell’s COVID-19 resource page.