Bill 24 Bill 32 & CEWS Extension

COVID-19 Response Updates - Bill 24, Bill 32, & CEWS Extension

Bill 24, The COVID-19 Pandemic Response Statutes Amendment Act, 2020 – On June 18, 2020, the Alberta government introduced Bill 24, the COVID-19 Pandemic Response Statutes Amendment Act, 2020. This Bill extends the temporary layoff period in Alberta from 120 to 180 consecutive days for the employees who are laid off for reasons related to COVID-19. This extended layoff period applies to employees who are on a layoff when the change comes into force, as well as those laid off on or after the change comes into force.

The temporary layoff period has previously been extended from 60 days in a 120-day period, to 120 consecutive days. Employees laid off for 121 consecutive days are deemed to have been terminated and are entitled to termination pay pursuant to the Alberta Employment Standards Code. Without the extension to the layoff period in Bill 24, employees who are laid off for 121 days are entitled to termination pay and the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, which has been extended to August 2020.

Bill 24 will also extend the unpaid leave for employees who are required to take care of a child due to school or daycare closures, or to care for ill or self-isolating family members.


Bill 32, The Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act – On July 7th, 2020, the Alberta government introduced Bill 32, the Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act. This Bill, if passed, will bring several key changes to Alberta’s labour and employment legislation. These changes would take effect in stages, changes in the Employment Standards Code would take effect November 1st, 2020, except for changes to the requirements around group termination notice, length of temporary layoffs, and flexible rules to apply for variances, which would come into effect on August 15th, 2020.

For more information on Bill 32, including the key changes for employers, employees, and unions, please visit


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Extension – On July 17th, 2020, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced proposed changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to extend the program to December 19th, 2020 with redesigned program details until November 21st, 2020.

Draft legislation has been provided for significant changes to the program rules, including qualification for employers who have experienced a revenue reduction of less than 30%, and an enhanced subsidy amount of up to $960 per week per eligible employee, for employers who have been hit especially hard. It is anticipated that the new legislation will need to be passed before these changes will take effect.

Additional CEWS claim periods:

  • Period 5 (July 5th – August 1st)
  • Period 6 (August 2nd – August 29th)
  • Period 7 (August 30th – September 26th)
  • Period 8 (September 27th – October 24th)
  • Period 9 (October 25th – November 21st)

A proposal to divide the CEWS into two parts:

  • A base subsidy, with the amount varying depending on the rate of revenue decline; and
  • A top-up subsidy of up to an additional twenty-five percent (25%) for employers who have experienced the most adverse effects from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City of Edmonton has announced that wearing masks will be mandatory on public transit and inside city facilities starting August 1st, 2020. The Alberta government has decided that a blanket approach to mask rules for the entire province would not work, so it is up to each individual municipality to decide on whether or not to make mask wearing mandatory.

Reopening Your Business – Many businesses have questions about the proper reopening procedures. We strongly advise that you do your research, and make sure that you are following the proper protocols for your specific business type and industry. You can download a Workplace Guidance for Business Owners document at this link:


The current circumstances are constantly changing, therefore any information we provide is subject to change, and we will try to keep you informed as there are any new developments.  Please go directly to the CRA’s website at to receive the latest updates and to develop your own understanding of the information provided.  Your eligibility for any, and all, of the programs made available is solely determined by the CRA, and it is your responsibility to ensure that you make truthful and accurate declarations.  Our interior office door remains locked, but we are operating within our modified summer hours, and our security camera monitored front vestibule is open for pick-ups and drop-offs from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday. 

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