The B.C. government has introduced amendments to the Employment Standards Act that, if passed, will provide workers with up to three hours of paid leave to get each dose of their COVID-19 vaccine.
The amendments ensure no one will lose pay if they need time away from work to get vaccinated.
These amendments expand on the regulatory improvements made on April 1, 2021, that currently provide job-protected leave for workers to take as much time as they need to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The changes to the act will allow employees to take up to three hours of paid leave to get their COVID-19 vaccine, for each dose.
This paid leave will support the timeline of B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan for when the majority of working-aged people in the province will receive their vaccines.
The Ministry of Labour consulted with the business community, labour organizations, Indigenous partners and other stakeholders in developing this legislation to balance paid leave with supports for employers. Businesses suffering from the economic impact of COVID-19 can access direct financial support through the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant and the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program.
If passed, the effective date will be retroactive to the date of introduction (April 19, 2021).