REGINA -- The City of Regina will be laying off 360 casual employees by the end of March, to cope with the effects of COVID-19.

Casual staff are employees whose hours are typically scheduled on a weekly, monthly or as needed basis. These staff include cashiers, equipment operators, lifeguards and maintenance staff.

The city said this decision comes so it can continue emphasizing “critical services.” Layoffs will take effect at the end of the business day on Tuesday, March 31.

“Our hope is that this layoff is temporary and that we will be able to return to normal business operations as soon as possible,” said Chris Holden, the Regina City Manager.

“We recognize that this will result in hardship and were ensuring that those affected know how to access the financial supports that have been announced by both the federal and provincial governments.”

Holden said the unions and association representing these staff have given the city their “understanding” about the necessity of these difficult decisions.

The city has also postponed the recall of around 500 seasonal casual staff.