With the BC government continuing to roll out COVID-19 vaccines, employees will be asking themselves two questions: when are they eligible for the vaccine and how will they ensure they can get time off work to receive it? We are here to help you with both of these questions.
Online Registration System
First, the government has released a new online registration system allowing registered individuals to be alerted by email or text message when they qualify to receive the vaccine. All you need is two minutes and your BC Services Card number – yes, it really is that easy!
Unpaid Job-Protected Leave
Second, to ensure that eligible workers can receive their vaccination without fear of missing work or running afoul of their employer, the BC government has announced a temporary change to the BC Employment Standards Act. Workers who need time off to travel and receive the vaccine, or to help a dependent family member receive the vaccine, are now entitled to take an unpaid job-protected leave. This leave is also available for individuals who suffer from conditions putting them at a high-risk of COVID-19 and for those receiving the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit or the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.
COVID-19 continues to have a serious impact on both employees and employers, and we realize that changes to government programs and legislation can be difficult to keep up with. If you have any questions or would like advice about COVID-19 and how it affects your business, employees or employment, please contact Ryley Mennie, Lou Poskitt, or Connor Levy from our Workplace Law Group.
A special thank you to our articling student, Linette Lubke, for her contributions to this blog post!