On April 27, 2021, the BC Government passed into law an amendment to the Employment Standards Act (Bill 3-2021) granting employees paid leave to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. The amendment is retroactive to April 19, 2021. The amendment provides that employees, no matter how long they have been employed, are entitled to paid leave for up to 3 hours to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The paid leave is for each request, so the employee is eligible for paid leave for vaccination for getting all necessary doses, where required for that type of vaccine. An Employer can request sufficient proof that the employee is requesting leave to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Proof would take the form of confirmation of a vaccine booking. The Employer cannot request a note from a doctor or nurse.
The BC Ministry of Labour’s news release can be read here (“Paid leave for workers to get COVID-19 vaccine”), and the above changes are set out on the Government’s ‘Leaves of absence’ website.
Please contact a member of our Labour and Employment Group if you have any questions regarding the above.