Effective April 1, 2021, changes were made to B.C.’s Employment Standards Regulation, providing employees with unpaid, job-protected leave to receive their COVID-19 vaccine, or to assist a dependant in being vaccinated against COVID-19. The Ministry of Labour says it will explore options to provide employees with paid leave while getting their vaccine meaning that more changes may be coming. Leave is also expanded to cover employees more susceptible because of medical conditions. An employee is entitled to these leaves for as long as the circumstances apply to the employee.
A dependant, for the purposes of this leave, now includes (in addition to a child or dependant adult), a member of the employee’s immediate family; a person who is in a prescribed class of individuals considered a “family member” under the Family Member Regulation. A person who considers the employee, or who the employee considers, to be like a close relative is included. The dependant must be unable, because of illness, disability or another reason, to obtain the necessaries of life, and be under the day-to-day care and control of the employee.
In addition, an employee is now entitled to unpaid, job-protected leave in relation to COVID-19, if the employee is more susceptible to COVID-19 because the employee has an underlying condition, is undergoing treatment or has contracted another illness, and receives, or will receive, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit. This change to the regulation expands the job-protected leave for reasons related to COVID-19 to align it with the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.
Please contact a member of our Labour and Employment Group if you have any questions regarding the above.