Employees in British Columbia may soon be entitled to paid time off work to receive the Covid-19 vaccination.

Last week the Province of Saskatchewan amended its Occupational Health and Safety Regulations to provide for a 'special vaccination leave' that entitles an employee to three or more consecutive paid hours off from work to get vaccinated. The 'special vaccination leave' was implemented in an effort to ensure that all workers in the province obtain the vaccination.  The vaccination leave must be granted by an employer if requested by an employee and must be without loss of pay and benefits. The amendment was made by way of regulation and became effective on March 17, 2021.

On March 24, 2021, Premier Horgan confirmed that we may see a similar move in British Columbia where the government is "actively" considering amendments to the British Columbia Employment Standard Act to allow for paid leave for vaccination purposes. Premier Horgan noted that, workers are entitled to time off during elections to vote, and similar rules should apply to vaccinations.

We will continue to monitor developments and will post a further update on this paid leave for British Columbia, if or when it is implemented.

The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.

© McMillan LLP 2021