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Posted: August 5, 2020

Review of recall rights in B.C.’s hotel sector

The B.C. Ministry of Labour today announced there will be a review of layoff and recall rights of workers in British Columbia’s hotel sector as a result of COVID-19.

Harry Bains, Minister of Labour, August 5 appointed Sandra Banister, QC, to conduct the review.

B.C.’s tourism and hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19, due to decline in revenues that have come from restrictions on travel and gathering sizes. Workers in the sector are concerned about the impacts of COVID-19 on their long-term employment.

With this appointment, Banister will use her expertise of the Labour Relations Code and work with employers and unions and other relevant organizations to determine what steps are being taken to address issues around layoff and recall in the hotel sector.

Banister has practised labour law and civil litigation for more than 35 years. She regularly appears at all levels of court in British Columbia, labour arbitrations, the British Columbia Labour Relations Board and the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

The goal of the review is to support employers and hotel unions to come together and find solutions to issues around layoff and recall rights due to COVID-19. Banister will provide a report which summarizes her findings to the minister of labour by Aug. 20.

In B.C., the hotel sector is made up of both unionized and non-unionized workers. Government has provided non-unionized workers and employers a way to extend temporary layoffs through an Employment Standards Act Section 72 variance, a process that government has streamlined and made easier to use.

This process does not apply to the unionized side of the hotel sector, as they are governed by collective agreements.

Learn more about temporary layoff variance applications for non-unionized workers and employers.

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