What exactly is a temporary layoff and how is it different than a normal one? How does it affect EI? If the company asks me to return to work, either in the same position or a different one, am I obligated to do so?

For context: a month ago I started a new job for a marketing firm. They hired many people at the same time for a large project for a specific client. We received noticed we were being temporarily laid off with less than a weeks notice. It sounds like if the company finds more work in a different program they would give priority to the people who were laid off. Is this normal? I found the company disorganized and definitely would not want to work on the same program again.


1 Answer 1


[In British Columbia,] an employee who is temporarily laid off is not entitled to statutory notice or termination pay unless and until the layoff exceeds 13 weeks in a 20-week period of time.


Seems like it doesn't affect EI, but affects other termination benefits. If you are offered any job, including the one you were temporarily laid off from, you have to report it to the government. If you refuse the offer, that could affect your EI:

[I]f you refuse work that EI staff consider suitable, you will be disqualified for 7 to 12 weeks


  • Since I had been working for the company for less than 3 months I would not receive any termination benefits anyway. Everyone else on the program was the same and I don't see why they didn't just terminate us without cause.
    – user39743
    Jan 31, 2022 at 6:06

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