Business survey indicates laid off workers prefer CERB & are in no rush to return to work

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Muskoka Post Staff

A poll by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business suggested that around 27 per cent of 3,389 employers polled indicated some of their laid-off staff have refused to return to work. Of the nearly 870 businesses that provided reasons their employees gave for refusing to return to work - 62 per cent reported workers “prefer the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.”

Employers could choose more than one explanation for why a worker refused to return, and respondents also selected options such as concern for health (47%), childcare obligations (27%) or lack of hours in return offer (16%).

The study also indicated other sectors where conflicts are arising include child care, dental offices, home health care, amusement parks, gambling and spectator sports. The survey also suggested that the hospitality sector had the biggest share of employers, 45% who had trouble recalling workers. CFIB defines hospitality as including hotels, restaurants and bars.

The CFIB study suggests that in the hospitality sector, 56 per cent of hard-to-fill positions were “unskilled, entry-level jobs” that pay “at or around minimum wage,” although across sectors, skilled and semi-skilled jobs were harder to fill.

The federal government's website states that workers seeking CERB, which offers $500 per week over a limited period, “should be seeking work opportunities and/or return to work when their employer makes a request for their return, provided they are able and it is reasonable to do so.” The government's COVID-19 guidelines also say that employees can to refuse to do a dangerous job, although the worker must already “be at work” to refuse such a task.

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