covid-19 laid off

Laid off due to COVID-19? Here’s what you need to know. 

These are uncertain times due to COVID-19 but you are not alone. There are about 6 million people who have been temporarily laid off due to spread of COVID-19 in Canada. So, what should you do if you are laid off?


Step 1: 

Apply for EI or CERB depending on your situation. The federal government has made lots of updates on the EI and CERB program to ensure more people are eligible. You can apply online through Service Canada for EI and with CRA My Account for CERB. You can also call the automated toll-free number 1-800-959-2019 to apply.

You can find more information on Financial Support provided by the government here:

Further, refer to our blog “Making Good Financial Decision During COVID-19” for tips and tricks on how to manage your finances during these difficult times.

Step 2:

Communicate with your employer and keep the communication open as things change. Figure out if your employer is willing to make a commitment on your return date to work.

Step 3: 

It isn’t easy to pass hours staying home. Utilize this time well to learn a new skill or upgrade your skills, which in turn can give you an advantage in the labor market when things are back to normal. Thankfully a few institutions have stepped up to help us keep the boredom at bay and learn something while doing so. Below is the list of free online courses, but remember, this list is not exhaustive!

  1. Yale University has offered up one of it’s most popular courses for free – ‘The Science of Well Being’
  2. Wanted to try something different? Yale is offering a free Introduction to Classical Music
  3. University of Toronto has several free courses available through Complete list can be found here:
  4. Algonquin college has several free courses available such as data analysis and Project management. Find the complete list here:
  5. If you’re looking to pick up a new skill while in self-isolation, freeCodeCamp is offering to teach users how to code for free. Visit their website here:
  6. Worried about your financial state? Check out How to Save Money: Make Smart Financial Decisions, made free by University of California, Berkeley.
  7. Education doesn’t always have to mean hitting the books! If you’re looking to expand your knowledge on physical fitness, Down Dog is offering free yoga, HITT, and barre classes.


Getting laid off can be difficult, even if almost everyone you know is out of work. They key is to stay busy and stay connected with your friends and family. Make use of the support provided by the government and keep in mind that you are not in this alone and this will pass at some point.