A new program was unveiled today which provides for 3 paid days off for absences related to COVID-19 for both full and part time workers. While the cost of paying for the days off will be paid by the employer, the new program will provide for reimbursement, at least in part, to employers who do not have an existing sick leave program. The absences will be paid in three different circumstances:
- when an employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
- when an employee needs time off to self-isolate; and
- when an employee is waiting for a test result.
In all three situations, the employer will be required to pay the employee their full wages for three days. For employers who do not have an existing sick leave program, the government will reimburse up to $200 per day for each absent worker. WorkSafe will be responsible for administering the reimbursements under the program beginning in June. The legislation has not yet passed but will be in force from the date it passes until December 31. The government has indicated that in 2022 a new permanent paid sick leave program will be put in place, although the details regarding entitlement and number of days has not yet been decided.