BC Passes Job-Protection Legislation Related to COVID-19

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In an emergency session of the Legislature, the government of British Columbia has passed legislation for job-protected leave for workers required to self-isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This leave extends to workers who are unable to work as a result of having to care for a child or dependent adult.

Once able to return to work, the worker must be returned to the same position, or an equivalent position.

Employers are entitled to evidence from the worker concerning the requirement for the leave, but the expectation of evidence is very low and the bill specifically does not require a doctor’s note.

The bill is retroactive to January 27, 2020, when the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the province.  These measures are considered to be temporary and will be repealed once they are no longer necessary.

At the same time, the province has also introduced a permanent measure of 3 days of job-protected leave for employees unable to work due to illness or injury.

Employers with any questions about how this legislation may impact their business should contact Clark Wilson LLP’s lawyers in the Employment and Labour group for more information.