WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government will begin compensating health-care workers who have to self-isolate at home after being potentially exposed to COVID-19 (coronavirus) while on the job.
Premier Brian Pallister made the announcement Tuesday during a news conference at the Manitoba legislature.
“Our government recognizes front-line health-care providers are facing extraordinary challenges during this unprecedented time,” said Pallister.
“This change will give workers peace of mind knowing they can take the necessary time to protect themselves, their patients, coworkers and the broader community.”
Health-care staff will be paid administrative leave for the full 14-day period of asymptomatic self-isolation. Should a worker become symptomatic during self-isolation, the individual will be compensated by sick leave benefits, pursuant to their collective agreement.
Shortened work week proposed for non-frontline workers
The province is meeting with union leaders to come up with a plan for a shortened work week for civil servants and Crown corporation employees not working on the frontlines of government.
Pallister says a reduced work week is preferable to layoffs and the measure would be temporary, but there is no definitive end-time at this point.
Pallister says workers who stay on the job two days a week, as an example, could collect federal benefits for the other three days and receive about three-quarters of their salary.
He also says the move would free up some resources for front-line services such as health care.
Pallister says the reduced work week will not apply to politicians in the legislature.
— With files from The Canadian Press