The Canadian government has introduced temporary special measures extending the maximum duration of labour-sharing agreements from 38 weeks to 76 weeks across Canada for businesses affected by the COVID-19 business decline and for the steel and aluminum sectors. Go to the Temporary Special Work-Sharing Measures page to see if you qualify. The employer and employees (and, if applicable, the union) must agree to participate in a division of labour agreement and submit a joint application. The COVID-19 optimized measures put in place by Service Canada were intended to reduce the processing time to 10 business days (from 30 business days) before the agreement start date. Therefore, employers are currently required to submit their applications at least 10 business days before the desired start date of the agreement (see COVID-19 Work-Sharing Program for more details) Employers continue to pay employees on their payroll for all hours worked. In order to ensure that everyone has a fair and equitable chance to work, the available working hours should be balanced via the WS unit. In order to do justice to the increase in the volume of applications and to better support all employers and employees, applications are processed on a start date basis. Applications submitted more than 10 business days before the desired start date of the agreement will be processed as efficiently as possible to meet the desired start date, but processing may exceed 10 business days. The COVID-19 pandemic presents significant challenges for employers and their employees, and we will continue to provide up-to-date information as the situation evolves. BDO`s resource consulting team can help you develop contingency plans to protect your business and employees. The Government of Canada`s Employment and Social Development website can provide more detailed information on work-sharing. You can also contact our team members for advice.
Employees who participate in a WS agreement are a "work-sharing unit." The members of the Work Sharing Unit are all core employees who have agreed to participate in the WS Agreement, reduce their working hours and share the available work equally. The work-sharing unit typically consists of employees in a single job description or performing similar work. The division of labour unit may also be composed of employees who perform different tasks but whose workplaces influence each other. The WS program is designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when the normal level of business activity that is beyond the employer`s control is temporarily reduced. The program is available to federally and provincially regulated employers. The WS program provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance ("EI") benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while their employer recovers. The WS Program creates a tripartite agreement with the Employer, Employees and Service Canada (the "WS Agreement"). Employers should alert Service Canada to upcoming layoffs to ensure that public servants can assist employers in drafting the division of labour agreement as efficiently as possible. Incomplete division of labour applications may delay Service Canada`s assessment of your application.
The amount of benefits paid for a work-sharing week is calculated by comparing the hours missed under the WS agreement with the hours the claimant would normally have worked. Benefits are paid as a percentage of hours missed. Workplaces continue to face the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. One option that many employers are considering is Work Sharing (WS), a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when business activity temporarily declines, which is beyond the employer`s control. .