B.C. Government Seeks to Introduce Paid COVID-19 Vaccine Leave

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

On April 19, 2021, the British Columbia provincial government introduced a bill seeking amendments to the British Columbia Employment Standards Act that, if passed, will provide workers with up to three hours of paid leave to get each dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The amendment seeks to expand on the regulatory changes made on April 1, 2021, as discussed in our prior bulletin available here, which originally provided the leave as an unpaid job-protected leave for workers to take as much time as they need to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. At the time, the provincial government indicated that it "[would] explore options to provide workers with paid leave while getting the vaccine" and this amendment seeks to deliver on that promise.

If the bill is passed, the effective date will be retroactive to the date of introduction - April 19, 2021 - and will make British Columbia the second province in the country, after Saskatchewan, that guarantees paid time off to workers to get their vaccine.  

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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