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B.C. workers given three hours of paid leave for COVID-19 shots

Amendments made to the Employment Standards Act will now allow B.C.’s workers to take up to three hours of paid leave to get each dose of their COVID-19 vaccine.

The Provincial Government said the rules are now in effect and will work retroactively to April 19th.

Bill 3 has officially become a law to ensure no employee will lose pay if they take time away from work to get their shot. It applies to both full-time and part-time workers.

“Guaranteeing paid leave for workers to get vaccinated is an important way to keep workers safe, while reducing risks to businesses. Our government believes it’s in everyone’s interest to remove all barriers to a worker getting vaccinated when they are eligible to do so,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “Supporting workers to get their COVID-19 vaccine when it’s their turn will greatly benefit everyone. Workers will be able to protect themselves and their families from this terrible virus, businesses can protect staff and customers from getting sick, and communities will benefit from reducing the chance of an outbreak.”

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The province said the legislation builds off of changes made that provide unpaid job-protected leave for workers taking time off to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“This unpaid leave remains in place to supplement the new paid time off, for example, to accompany dependant family members to get vaccinated or in the event a worker needs more than three hours of paid leave to travel to their vaccine appointment,” said the B.C. Government.

The amendment will be in place through the COVID-19 pandemic until repealed by regulation.

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