Leave for COVID-19 Vaccination - Act Part 6, Section 52.13
This section entitles employees to paid leave to receive a vaccination against COVID-19. These provisions are in force from April 19, 2021. They are temporary measures that will be repealed when the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
52.13 (1) An employee who requests leave under this section is entitled to paid leave for the period described in subsection (2) to be vaccinated against COVID‐19.
(2) An employee is entitled to leave under this section for up to 3 hours for each request for leave made under this section.
(3) Subject to subsection (4), an employer must pay an employee who takes leave under this section an amount in money equal to at least the amount calculated by multiplying the number of hours of the leave and the average hourly wage, where the average hourly wage is determined by the formula
amount paid ÷ hours worked
is the amount paid or payable to the employee for work that is done during and wages that are earned within the 30 calendar day period preceding the leave, including vacation pay that is paid or payable for any days of vacation taken within that period, less any amounts paid or payable for overtime, and
is the number of hours the employee worked or earned wages within that 30 calendar day period.
(4) An employer must pay an employee in a prescribed circumstance who takes leave under this section an amount in money equal to at least the amount calculated in accordance with the regulations.
(5) If requested by the employer, the employee must, as soon as practicable, provide to the employer reasonably sufficient proof that the employee is entitled to leave under this section.
(6) An employer must not request, and an employee is not required to provide, a note from a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner or registered nurse for the purposes of a request for leave under this section.
(7) This section may be repealed by order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
Subsection (1) and (2)
An employee who requests leave can take up to 3 hours paid leave to be vaccinated against COVID-19. There is no requirement for a request to be in writing, or for the employee to give the employer advance notice.
If necessary, the employee can take an additional paid leave of up to 3 hours for a second dose.
Subsection (3) and (4)
While on paid leave, the employer must pay the employee at least their average hourly wage for the hours of leave taken, up to 3 hours. To calculate the average hourly wage, use the following formula:
Hourly wage = amount paid ÷ hours worked
Base your calculation on days worked during the 30 calendar days before the leave started. Include all wages – this includes salary, commission, statutory holiday pay and paid vacation days. Don't include overtime. This hourly wage rate must be at least minimum wage.
Paid leave is retroactive to April 19, 2021.
If the employer asks, the employee must provide enough of an explanation to reasonably show that the leave was to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
An employer can ask for proof that an employee is entitled to take this leave, for example, confirmation of a vaccine appointment. An employer cannot require a doctor’s note or proof of vaccination.
Section 52.13 came into force April 19, 2021, the date it received First Reading in the Legislative Assembly.
If an employer terminated an employee on or after April 19, 2021 for taking this leave, the employer must offer re-instatement in the same or a comparable position. If the employee is re-employed, the employee’s absence after the date of the termination will be deemed a leave under this section.
Terms and conditions of employment protected
Section 54 provides that an employer cannot terminate an employee or change a condition of employment without the employee's written consent as a result of a leave under this Part. See also s.56 for an explanation of the effects of leave under this Part on employment and benefit payments. If the employer's business operations have been suspended or discontinued at the time the employee's leave ends, the employer must comply with s.54(2) when operations resume.
In the event of a contravention under this Part of the Act, the director may order a remedy in a determination under s.79(2). The determination will include an escalating monetary penalty, subject to s.98.
Employees covered by a collective agreement
Where there is a collective agreement, disputes respecting the application, interpretation or operation of Part 6 must be resolved through the grievance procedure, not through the enforcement provisions of the Act.
Related sections of the Act or Regulation
- s.3, Scope of the Act
- s.54, Duties of employer
- s.56, Employment deemed continuous while employee on leave or jury duty
- s.79(2), Determinations and consequences
- s.98, Monetary penalties