Our Calgary Employment Lawyers can help you!
Our Calgary Employment lawyers and Labor lawyers can guide you if your career is being jeopardized and you don’t know what your next step is.
We can help you with any legal matter related to employment, labor laws, and the employment standard code.
Workplace harassment, not receiving severance, wrongful dismissal or anything that breaches employment law may cause you serious financial consequences for you in the future.
At Shim Law, we will have all your answers to your employment/labor needs.
What do our Employment Lawyers do?
Approximately 90% of workers are enforced by employee rights laws which defines and guarantees that each employee gets a minimum standard of hours, sick days and severance packages.
Our Calgary employment lawyers cover every legal aspect of labor and employee rights. Please see below for a more detailed look at our services.
A Detailed Look at Our Employment Law Services
These include, but are not limited to:
- Employment Contracts
- Employee Unions
- Employee Workplace Discrimination
- Immigration Employees
- Severance Pay
- Workers on Contact
- Workplace Health and Safety
- Wrongful Dismissal or Termination and many more
If you have experienced any of the above or just feel like your employee rights are being jeopardized please contact one of our Calgary Employment Lawyers immediately before approaching your situation.
COVID-19 and Layoffs
It has been a few weeks since the Province of Alberta began to have an increased number of infected people with COVID-19 and this resulted in the state of emergency. More people are concerned about being laid off and not sure about the security of their respective jobs during this time. Various industries such as airline, retail and restaurant industries have already started to lay their respective employees off. On the other hands, many businesses have dropped in revenues and started to close down. They have no customers and cannot afford to pay their employees.
What should we do or can we do from the employment standpoint? We are getting calls and emails from various employers and employees as to how to handle the situation. They are wondering as to what they need to do legally in order to avoid any future legal disputes. Indeed, this is an unprecedented time for both the employers and employees.
There are several ways in which you can handle this situation. Such options include, but are not limited to, temporarily laying off, entering into an agreement with employees about reduced hours or pays, applying for a work-sharing program with the Government, looking for any government funding or financial programs, terminating the employment, negotiating the severance package, offering early retirement and so on.
If you are an employee and your employer lays you off because of a shortage of work, you can apply for EI and its operating the same as it usually does. You need to have enough hours of insurable earnings to qualify. It will pay you 55% of your insurable income to a maximum of $573 a week.
If you’re an employer and you can’t make payroll and the Work Sharing Program doesn’t work for you (more on that below), the only realistic way to deal with it is to lay off employees so that they can go on EI.
There is a one-week waiting period, so if you have to lay workers off you should try to give some pay in lieu of notice to bridge that gap.
Note that this doesn’t apply to people who can’t work because they’re sick or taking care of a relative or kids related to COVID-19. Under new legislation just passed, an employer *cannot* lay you off for this reason. They have to give you leave, and you can apply for the Emergency Care Benefit or EI Sickness Benefits (see below).
Emergency Care Benefit/EI Sickness Benefits
If you can’t work because you are: (a) sick with COVID; (b) quarantined due to COVID; (c) taking care of a sick family member, or (d) have to stay home to take care of kids, you can access this benefit *even if you are self-employed*. This benefit will be available in early April and you will basically need to check off a checkbox every two weeks that you still need it. It will pay up to $900 biweekly for up to 15 weeks.
Alternatively, if you’re sick/quarantined with COVID and have enough insurable earnings, you can access EI Sickness Benefits and the one-week waiting period is waived. Like normal EI, this pays 55% of earnings up to $573 a week.
Emergency Support Benefit
This is confusingly named very similarly to the Emergency Care Benefit, but it’s different. The ESB is going to provide financial support to (a) laid-off workers who don’t have enough hours for EI, and (b) self-employed workers who don’t have enough income to work. Basically, anyone not covered by EI. Details on this benefit aren’t out yet, but it’s going to be administered through the CRA and will likely have a simple application process. The amount and duration of benefits haven’t yet been made public.
Small Business Wage Subsidy
This is to help those of us who might have a bit of difficulty making payroll but haven’t had such a severe drop in work that we need to look at Work Share or layoffs. The government is going to subsidize 10% of your payroll, to a maximum $1357 per employee. You can access this benefit *immediately* by reducing your tax withholding for your employees.
EI Work Share
If you are an employer of 2 or more employees doing the same job (e.g. two customer-service representatives) but don’t have enough work to keep them on payroll, rather than laying one of them off, you can apply to the EI Work Share program. The employees have to agree. Basically, you reduce their collective workload by up to 60% and EI benefits will cover for the reduced hours. The main problem is you need 2 employees with the same job description, the application process is pretty onerous, and it can take up to 30 days to get approval. But if you work at a company with 10+ employees, this might be a good option to consider.
Business Credit Availability Program
The government is working with lenders to increase the amount of credit available to creditworthy businesses. Talk to your banker to see what lending options might be available.
Taxes are not due until August 31, 2020. You can still file the return right away to get benefits, but you don’t have to pay anything (this includes any instalment payments that you would otherwise owe). Take advantage of this; it’s basically an interest-free loan.
For any of us who currently receive the GST Credit and/or the Canada Child Benefit Credit, those are being enhanced. If you are eligible for these benefits, make sure to file your tax return on time so you can get them.
Student Loan Freeze
The federal government has frozen student loans and there is no interest accruing for the next 6 months. We believe this is done automatically; there’s no application process you can just stop paying your student loans for the next 6 months with no consequences. This also operates like an interest-free loan.
Common Employment and Law Questions
Confused about your current situation?
Below is a compiled list of some free resources about employee rights: