Government of B.C.

Do you qualify?

If you have previously applied and been approved for a variance, you can apply for a renewal. You must apply before the variance expires.

Under the Act, variances only apply to non-unionized, non-excluded employees.

If your previous variance has expired, the rules are the same as for a termination of employment.

What you'll need

  • The case number on your variance (for example, “VA-2020-000012”)
  • The expiry date on your variance


If you have an approved variance and you will not be ready to recall employees by the original expiry date, you can jointly apply with the affected employees for another variance to extend the layoff period further.

You will need to provide the expiry date of your existing variance and the new recall date that you and your employees have agreed to. If you do not know when you will be able to recall employees, choose a reasonable date based on your plans to resume operations. Renewal extensions of four months or less are recommended. If you request an extension of more than four months, you will need to indicate why this is necessary in your specific circumstances.

Renewals are considered on a case-by-case basis. The Director has the authority to grant a variance for a shorter duration than requested.



Inform employees you intend to apply

This is a joint renewal. Before applying, notify affected employees that you intend to renew the variance and make sure they agree to continue to be temporarily laid off.

We recommend emailing employees to explain how extending the layoff will affect their employment. The notice must include the new expected recall date.

Download sample email (DOCX)

You need to include your communication with the application. If you do not use the sample email, make sure your notice contains everything the sample email does.


Document employee support

Just like a new application, you're responsible for proving that at least 51% of affected employees support the renewal application. Applications should show as much employee support as possible.

You must be able to show proof that affected employees were informed about the renewal application and support it. This is the case even if these employees submitted support forms for your previous application.

Download employee support form (PDF)


Provide a list of all affected employees

The list needs to contain the name, phone number and email address of each employee that is affected by the renewal application.

Do not reuse the list from your initial application, as your employees' contact information or decision to support may have changed.

Download employee list template (XLSX)


Submit online application

Keep a copy for your records. A delegate of the Director of Employment Standards may contact you to review your application in detail.


Receive notice from the Employment Standards Branch

If the renewal is granted, you will be emailed a copy of the variance decision.

If the renewal is denied, a formal decision is sent by email and registered mail to both the employer and affected employees.

The Director of Employment Standards may investigate at any time to ensure compliance with the Act and Regulation, whether or not the Director has received a complaint.


Implement the change and inform employees

You must:

  • Send a copy of the renewal variance to employees
  • Post a copy of the renewal variance at the workplace
  • Follow any new or existing terms and conditions in the renewal variance


Contact us for confidential support and information.

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