The BC government said on Monday that it 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 are meant to ensure no one will lose pay if they need time away from work to get vaccinated.

“We know that many workers can’t afford to lose pay, and we need to make sure that it’s as easy as possible for workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Labour Minister Harry Bains. “This paid leave will ensure that no one will have to choose between losing pay and getting their doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

The 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 each dose of their COVID-19 vaccine.

In its announcement, the Ministry of Labour said it consulted with the business community, labour organizations, Indigenous partners and other stakeholders in developing the legislation to balance paid leave with supports for employers.

“The best thing for all of us – for employers, workers, seniors, our healthcare system and our communities – is to bring an end to the pandemic, which we can do through a strong immunization plan that works for everyone in BC,” Bains said.

If passed, the effective date will be retroactive to the date of introduction (April 19, 2021).

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