B.C. extends job-protected leave for reservists deployed to Olympics

About 1,000 reservists expected to serve at the 2010 Winter Games

Reservists in British Columbia who are called on to support the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in B.C. will have jobs to return to afterwards, thanks to changes to the province's Employment Standards Act.

The act was amended in 2008 to provide job-protected leave to reservists when they are deployed on a military operation outside of Canada or to assist with a national emergency. New amendments extend this protection to reservists deployed to support the 2010 Games.

About 1,000 reservists are expected to be deployed to the Games with about one-half coming form B.C. Many will begin work in September and will serve until March or April next year.

Under the act, employers will not be required to pay wages while the employee is on leave — reservists will be compensated by the Canadian Armed forces for their services. However, when the reservist has completed his Olympic duties, his employer must place him in his previous job or in a comparable one.

The federal government has also extended job-protected leave for reservists serving at the Games and who work in federally regulated industries.

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