Alberta workers will be given three-hours of paid leave to get vaccinated

The Alberta government plans to change employment standards as soon as possible to allow workers three hours of paid leave to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Minister of Labour and Immigration Jason Copping said the government will introduce an amendment on Wednesday and hopes to have it passed and come into effect immediately afterward.

“As you all know, the vaccine program is ramping up and although there are some hiccups in regards to supply, vaccines are becoming more [widely] available,” Copping said Wednesday at a news conference.

“Hard-working Albertans want to get the vaccine, but some may not be able to schedule an appointment because of their working hours. And they may not be able to afford a loss of pay, which is a barrier to getting vaccinated.”

For that reason, he said, the government intends to introduce legislation to amend the employment standards code to provide COVID-19 vaccine leave.

If passed, the amendment would give Albertans up to three hours of paid time off to get their shots, Copping said.

“As with other leaves, Albertans cannot be fired or disciplined by their employer for taking this leave. Leave can be used twice if Albertans are getting a two-dose vaccine.”

The leave, which applies to full-time and part-time workers, regardless of their length of service, would take effect upon first reading in the legislature, he said.

More to come …

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