Many businesses experience ups and downs or go through periods of restructuring that require staff reductions. Managing layoffs and other workforce adjustments can be challenging. It’s important to know your role and responsibilities as an employer and what other options are available. These resources can help you make the most of a difficult situation.
Avoid Temporary Layoffs
Downsizing has a negative impact on employee morale and the overall functioning of the workplace.
Savings gained from staff reductions may be offset by declines in other areas (e.g., work performance and customer service). Remaining staff may feel overworked and stressed about job security, and finding and hiring new workers when business improves can be costly and time-consuming.
Alternatives to downsizing
The federal work-sharing program can help you avoid layoffs. This program provides income support to employees who are eligible for Employment Insurance and who are willing to work a temporarily reduced workweek.
Address a Labour Market Issue
Employers, employer associations and community and industry stakeholders may want to avoid layoffs during a downturn. To do so, they may consider creating a new project that tackles a labour market issue.
Look into Labour Market Partnerships. This program provides financial assistance to organizations to carry out strategies that address adjustments in the labour force.
Workforce Reduction Program
There’s no easy way to handle layoffs. But during challenging economic times, employers may find themselves facing this difficult task.
Preparing for workforce reduction
If you’re planning to make cutbacks there are steps you should take to prepare. Ineffective workforce reduction strategies can be costly and have long-term negative impacts on your organization.
Make sure you carefully plan to effectively manage this transition.
For help with handling issues relating to downsizing see the Alliance of Sector Council’s article on how to manage your workforce during a recession.
Also see Service Canada’s Work Force Reduction Program, which may be able to help you limit necessary reductions. This program offers regular EI benefits to eligible employees who agree to leave their job under the program.
Know Your Responsibilities and Requirements
Employment Standards Act
Under the provincial Employment Standards Act, employers in B.C. are required follow certain rules and regulations when letting go of staff.
If you’re unsure of your responsibilities under this Act, see the Termination of Employment Fact Sheet for answers.
Service Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) guide provides detailed instructions on how and when you must complete the required Record of Employment (ROE) form for departing staff.
To fast-track your submission of ROE forms, visit Record of Employment on the Web. ROE Web is a secure web-based application that enables employers to create, submit and print ROEs online.
Resources for Mature Workers and Retirement Planning
Review the TIOW programs and contacts to learn about programs and services that connect older workers with job opportunities.
For general information affecting mature workers and retirement planning, visit Service Canada's older worker/retirement planning page
If you are preparing for retirement, start by learning about Canada's Pension Plan System.
Then visit the Canada Revenue Agency website
for an overview of the income you might receive during retirement, deductions or credits you can claim and other key information.
For those planning to work beyond the age of 65, visit Frequently Asked Questions About Eliminating Mandatory Retirement