Randi Collins, managing partner of YYC Employment Law Group says its unclear what employers obligations are when it comes to workers forced out of work due to COVID-19 shutdowns.
Calgary legal experts say there is no one-size fits all answer for workers who find themselves laid off due to coronavirus concerns.
The managing partner at YYC Employment Law Group says that in addition to dealing with an uptick of clients, provincial and federal standards for paid leave remains unclear, despite recent announcements.
“That is a huge confusion right now,” said Randi Collins.
The provincial government has announced that there will be 14 days of paid leave for Alberta workers, without clarification of what employers obligations are, she said.
According to Collins, a lot of smaller employers are likely in a position where they cannot provide compensation for that period, or even a “top-up” to federally-offered employment insurance payments.
“From the employee side, there’s obviously concerns with being able to access EI. If they are eligible and if that is going to be enough to pay their bills for the period of time.”
Collins handles clients case-by-case until further clarification and direction from provincial and federal governments are provided.
She suspects the Calgary workers who are laid off due to recent provincial restrictions will apply directly for EI for financial assistance.