COVID-19: Compensation Options

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The current situation is causing many changes within businesses.

As an employer, you have to be informed of your rights and obligations regarding the impacts associated with COVID-19 virus. Here is some information to know about your employees’ compensation:

1. How many hours are required to qualify for employment insurance (EI)?

The minimum mandatory number of hours worked varies between 420 and 700. The number of hours required depends on your economic region. For employers in the Greater Montreal area, Hull, Montérégie, Trois-Rivières, Centre-du-Québec, the minimum number of hours is set at 700.

2. What is the minimum and maximum number of weeks of benefits to which you are entitled?

The maximum number of weeks of benefits varies between 14 and 45 weeks depending on your economical region and the number of hours worked. For employers in the above-mentioned regions, the minimum number of weeks of benefits is 14 and the maximum is 36. To receive the maximum of 36 weeks (in the Greater Montreal area) you must have worked 1,820 hours.

3. Do I need to give notice or compensation to employees I am currently laying off?

Employers are not required to provide notice or compensation to employees who are laid off for less than 6 months.

However, employers are generally required to provide notice or compensation to employees who are laid off for a period of more than 6 months.

On the other hand, employers are exempt from this obligation in the event of a “force majeure”. It is reasonable to believe that COVID-19 is a “force majeure” situation. However, it is important to prove that layoff is due to COVID-19.

4. Can my employee anticipate her/his maternity, paternity, parental leave? (QPIP)

  • Maternity leave: Can be distributed at the worker’s discretion before or after the expected date of delivery.
  • Paternity leave: Must begin the week of the child’s birth at the earliest.
  • Parental leave: May begin the week of the child’s birth at the earliest.
  1. Need more information? We invite you to consult this.

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our experts!

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