Recalling Staff from a Temporary Layoff
Hotels that wish to recall employees who were laid off as a result of COVID-19 should know the rules. Before calling employees back to work, the AHLA encourages employers to:
- Review & Revise Hazard Assessments: Review & revise all measures taken to ensure the safety of workers and guests, including barriers/shields, policies & personal protective equipment.
- Update Training: Plan training on new and existing health & safety protocols for both new & returning employees.
When calling employees back:
- Notify: As per Government of Alberta Employment Standards, employers must provide seven days’ notice IN WRITING. In case of a dispute, it is important that an employer can show the employee did, in fact, receive the notice. There are several ways to serve a recall notice to an employee:
- give the notice to the employee in person, either at work or at the employee’s address
- leave the notice at the employee’s address with a person who appears to be 18 or older
- send the notice by mail or registered mail
- send the notice by fax or email
If the employee does not return to work within seven days of being served the recall notice, the employer can terminate employment, and the employee will not be entitled to termination notice or termination pay. Click here for a sample recall letter you can use (pdf download).
- Communicate: Review hazards and explain safety measures that have been put in place for the safety of employees and guests.
When the employee returns to the job site, before they start working:
- Train: Complete training on new safety equipment & protocols.
- Document: Document training.
- Reassess as needed: Prepare each department to monitor for compliance and further hazard identification.
Employees have the right to refuse unsafe work. If an employee has concerns about health & safety and refuses to work, the AHLA encourages you to:
- Ask the worker to explain why they feel unsafe, and what safety precautions they think are missing. Respond to their questions and document all concerns and conversations. Worker returns to work, or:
- Remedy the dangerous condition if there is one, and inspect in the presence of the Health & Safety Committee member who represents the worker or the Health & Safety Representative. Worker returns to work, or:
- Complete a Right to Refuse Unsafe Work form. The AHLA has a template you can adapt for your property (pdf download).
- If the employee still refuses to work, the employer should contact OHS to investigate and make a decision about whether the employee is entitled to continue refusing work.
Anywhere in Alberta: 1-866-415-8690
Edmonton & surrounding area: 780-415-8690
Deaf or hearing impaired: 780-427-9999 (Edmonton); 1-800-232-7215 (Alberta)
For questions about Government of Alberta Employment Standards, you can fill out this form or call 1-877-427-3731.
Additional Staffing & Labour Resources
Resources for Canadian Businesses (Government of Canada)
Payroll & COVID-19 (The Canadian Payroll Association)