On May 7, 2021, the Manitoba provincial government announced the Pandemic Sick Leave program to provide employers with up to $600 per employee for up to 5 days for COVID-19 related sick leave. This includes time off for testing, vaccinations and side-effects, self-isolation due to COVID-19 symptoms, or care of a loved one in any of these circumstances.
The program provides support for sick leave taken by employees between May 7, 2021 and September 25, 2021. The eligible sick leave of up to 5 days does not need to be taken consecutively.
Unlike other provinces that have legislated paid sick leave related to COVID-19, this program is voluntary and not a legislative requirement.
Any employer who employs an eligible employee would qualify, regardless of whether the employer is located in Manitoba or another jurisdiction. Employers who currently provide paid sick leave to their employees would not be eligible. Employees who have exhausted paid sick leave benefits will not be covered.
Employees who reside in Manitoba and work and receive wages and salaries in Manitoba on a full or part-time basis would be eligible. Self-employed persons and employees who work from home would not be eligible for this program. Employees who have exhausted paid sick leave benefits will not be covered.
Access to the Program
The program will be administered by Economic Development and Jobs through an online application tool. The application form will be available at noon on Friday May 14, 2021. Employers can apply after the end of their regular pay period and direct deposit payments will be administered on a weekly basis.
Note that Manitoba has also introduced legislation, which has not yet passed, that would require employers to provide paid vaccination leave of up to 3 hours for each dose.
In Other News…
In addition to Manitoba, British Columbia has tabled legislation to amend the Employment Standards Act to provide employees with 3 days of paid sick leave related to COVID-19. The proposed legislation would require employers to pay workers their full wages and the Province will reimburse employers without an existing sick leave program up to $200 per day for each worker to cover costs. A further Alert will be issued once the legislation passes/details are finalized.
As a reminder, British Columbia currently provides employees with up to 3 hours of paid, job-protected leave to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
If you have any questions regarding the applicability to your workplace, please contact e2r™ to speak with an Advisor.