Employers making dismissal decisions would be best served with employment contracts that grant flexibility in these circumstances with a properly drafted layoff clause. Why? Because the current pandemic has proven that we are not always as prepared as we think we are and must always be prepared for the unexpected.
In Hetherington v Sask Liquor & Gaming Authority (2020 SKQB 110), Mitchell J. had a situation where the plaintiff worked for 19 years for the Sask govt, then quit and worked for another employer for 29 months, then returned to the Sask govt and 10 years later was laid off at age 65.
Recently, more employers have begun to consider using Supplementary Unemployment Benefit Plans (SUB Plans) to provide financial assistance to their employees during a period of layoff due to temporary stoppage of work, training, or illness, injury or quarantine.