Job-protected leave announced for workers to get COVID-19 vaccine

Job-protected leave announced for workers to get COVID-19 vaccine
File Photo

The B.C. government has announced that all workers in the province will receive job-protected leave in order to get a COVID-19 vaccine so they don’t have to fear losing their jobs.

The announcement, made on Thursday by the Province, states that “regulatory improvements” have been made under the Employment Standards Act in order to enable both part-time and full-time workers to take the time needed to travel and receive the vaccine. It also allows for workers to take the necessary time to assist a dependent family member to receive the vaccine.

“We need to get British Columbians vaccinated if we want to put this pandemic behind us,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “This safeguard ensures no one will lose their job if they need time away from work to get vaccinated for COVID-19.”

Bains is encouraging all workers to get vaccines as soon as possible, adding that “businesses understand the importance of having their employees vaccinated and providing a safe workspace for workers and customers.”

At this time, job-protected leave has been deployed, however, the government notes it is still exploring the possibility of paid leave while employees are getting their vaccines.

READ MORE: Judge grants injunction to remove Fairy Creek blockades; logging operations to continue

Part of this process for possible paid leave will include consultations with B.C.’s business community, labour organizations and workers who have been hit hardest by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government says this regulatory change also includes expanding the job-protected leave for reasons related to COVID-19, brought in last March, to fully align with the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.

A worker can now take job-protected leave if they need to care for other family members because of COVID-19, and not only a child or dependent adult as previously defined.

Another change allows workers with underlying conditions, who are undergoing treatment or who have contracted another illness that makes them more susceptible to COVID-19, to take the leave as well.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!