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are you entitled to severance pay for a temporary layoff?

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 17th, 2020 9:44 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
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Aug 30, 2003
3280 posts
135 upvotes

are you entitled to severance pay for a temporary layoff?

A family member is part of a layoff. They have been issued s ROE marked 'Shortage of work (layoff)'. The company is saying this is only temporary but of course In my mind, this could be permanent as noone knows what is going to happen in the future. Under this circumstance is the employer still obligated to pay severance and any accrued vacation? I assume they would just want to confirm.
17 replies
Member
Jan 16, 2009
460 posts
233 upvotes
Vancouver
Did they get any letter from the employer in writing regarding the temp layoff? I would think vacation wont get paid out if it's temporary...
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2011
9614 posts
2018 upvotes
Edmonton
Depends on your provincial legislation, but generally temporary layoffs are for 60 days and no separation monies are owed at that time. If the layoff changes to permanent the monies would be payable at that point.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35549 posts
21604 upvotes
Center of Universe
In ON, no.
Your employer can withold severance pay from 13wks up to 35wks.
Sr. Member
Jun 3, 2012
618 posts
249 upvotes
Scarborough
Each province is different. If it is a temporary layoff, each province stipulates the duration of the period that constitutes "temporary". As others have said, this usually ranges from a few months up to 6 months.

Vacation is payable and so to is severance (if you are eligible) if you have been been re-hired after the temporary layoff period.
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2013
1624 posts
2345 upvotes
West
It'll be interesting to see how the courts treat this. COVID-19 is a truly extraordinary circumstance... I wouldn't be surprised if the courts gave leniency to businesses regarding severance pay, since most won't be able to even afford it and didn't necessarily terminate their employees willfully.
Deal Addict
Nov 10, 2018
3986 posts
4169 upvotes
Phonophoresis wrote: It'll be interesting to see how the courts treat this. COVID-19 is a truly extraordinary circumstance... I wouldn't be surprised if the courts gave leniency to businesses regarding severance pay, since most won't be able to even afford it and didn't necessarily terminate their employees willfully.
This is not how the Courts work. There is some precedence which is what our legal system will defer to (it's a stretch, but depending on industry there can be correlations drawn from previous large catastrophic events) so if a judge is overly sympathetic then it's highly likely the case will be appealed and the ruling overturned.
For legal topics and discussions, the opinion, guidance, and thoughts provided are my own and are not considered to be legal advice, in any manner.
Deal Expert
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Aug 18, 2005
20087 posts
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Burlington-Hamilton
Firstly, in Ontario at least, that cannot temporarily lay you off, unless you agreed to it as part of an employment contract. That being said, this is indeed a way they can just delay paying you severance.

I'm in Ontario, and I know many people who got temporarily laid off over the years, even though they didn't agree to the possibility in an employment contract. Some got a lawyer involved.
- casual gastronomist -
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35549 posts
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Center of Universe
Jucius Maximus wrote: Firstly, in Ontario at least, that cannot temporarily lay you off, unless you agreed to it as part of an employment contract. That being said, this is indeed a way they can just delay paying you severance.

I'm in Ontario, and I know many people who got temporarily laid off over the years, even though they didn't agree to the possibility in an employment contract. Some got a lawyer involved.
ON California? Lol

Here in ON Canada...

"Temporary layoff
An employee is on temporary layoff when an employer cuts back or stops the employee’s work without ending his or her employment (e.g., laying someone off at times when there is not enough work to do)."

https://www.ontario.ca/document/your-gu ... #section-3
Deal Expert
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Aug 18, 2005
20087 posts
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Burlington-Hamilton
vkizzle wrote: ON California? Lol

Here in ON Canada...

"Temporary layoff
An employee is on temporary layoff when an employer cuts back or stops the employee’s work without ending his or her employment (e.g., laying someone off at times when there is not enough work to do)."

https://www.ontario.ca/document/your-gu ... #section-3
Did you even read the next sentence of the document you quoted?! Confused Face
Note, however, that a lay-off, even if intended to be temporary, may result in constructive dismissal if it is not allowed by the employment contract.
Translation: In Ontario, Canada, you can't be subject to a temporary layoff unless you agreed to it as part of your employment contract. But that doesn't stop employers from doing it anyway, hoping that people are ignorant and/or won't fight back.
- casual gastronomist -
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35549 posts
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Center of Universe
Jucius Maximus wrote: Did you even read the next sentence of the document you quoted?! Confused Face



Translation: In Ontario, Canada, you can't be subject to a temporary layoff unless you agreed to it as part of your employment contract. But that doesn't stop employers from doing it anyway, hoping that people are ignorant and/or won't fight back.
May result in constructive dismissal... you as an employee get to pick one.
Deal Expert
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Aug 18, 2005
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Burlington-Hamilton
vkizzle wrote: May result in constructive dismissal... you as an employee get to pick one.
OK buddy. Winking Face
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
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Center of Universe
Jucius Maximus wrote: OK buddy. Winking Face
You don't agree to a temp layoff, ok buddy, here's your two week working notice... now you get shit all.
Sr. Member
Jan 25, 2015
725 posts
380 upvotes
Toronto, ON
its 32 weeks delay. I was just temporarily laid off. Does that mean i have to give up my severence if i get a job within 32 weeks?
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
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mikolyyyy wrote: its 32 weeks delay. I was just temporarily laid off. Does that mean i have to give up my severence if i get a job within 32 weeks?
I'm going to assume that's the stipulation put forward by your employer?
My advice is to not disclose anything to them from this point on, as it's simply a bully tactic.
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Mar 23, 2003
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Hamilton
So if I'm reading this thread right, if you don't agree to a temp layoff you can be dismissed with 2 weeks notice and no severance?
Or?
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35549 posts
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Center of Universe
sidshock wrote: So if I'm reading this thread right, if you don't agree to a temp layoff you can be dismissed with 2 weeks notice and no severance?
Or?
It's not black and white.
Not all employers are crooked and looking to save a dollar.
You as an employee have the right to challenge all decisions.
Deal Expert
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Aug 18, 2005
20087 posts
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Burlington-Hamilton
sidshock wrote: So if I'm reading this thread right, if you don't agree to a temp layoff you can be dismissed with 2 weeks notice and no severance?
Or?
You can't make a broke employer have money.

If you haven't agreed to temporary layoffs in your employment contract, and the employer is following the law, all they can really do is lay you off, or ask you to work without pay.

Some employers are honest, and others aren't. I've seen temp layoffs used many times when the employer had no intention of hiring the person back, and they just wanted to stall on paying severance. The employer hoped the person would get another job and 'quit' from the first job, so the company could avoid severance pay.

Remember, not all employers are dishonest.
- casual gastronomist -

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