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Manitoba Proposes Paid Leave for Workers to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

May 11, 2021 2:37 PM | News

Coronavirus Vaccine

Pharmacist Mario Linaksita administers the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Sharon Berringer, 56, at University Pharmacy, in Vancouver, on April 1, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has introduced paid leave to allow employees a three-hour window to receive their COVID-19 vaccination without taking a cut to their paycheque.

The proposed amendments to the Employment Standards Code would allow employees to leave work each time a vaccine dose is required, while still being compensated. The wage rate would be fixed at an employee’s regular wage rate, or the average wage for employees whose wage varies, such as those paid on commission.

“We are at a critical point in our fight against COVID-19 and we want to encourage all Manitobans to get their COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible,” Finance Minister Scott Fielding said in a statement.

Employees could be asked to provide reasonable verification to an employer for the necessity to leave work to receive the vaccine, but couldn’t require a physician’s note or medical certificate to avoid unnecessary burden on the medical system.

Employees who need more time to travel to vaccination appointments or who suffer from vaccine side effects would be allowed to take a longer unpaid leave.