Regina – In its efforts to promote the widest possible adoption of the various COVID-19 vaccines to bring an end to the global pandemic, on March 18 the Government of Saskatchewan announced it had amended The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020. The change will allow for paid time off from work for an employee to get vaccinated for COVID-19. The chance is effective immediately. Special vaccination leave is similar to provisions allowing residents to vote during a general election.
The new section 6-22.1, Special Vaccination Leave, establishes that during the pandemic:
- Workers are entitled to three consecutive hours leave during work hours to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
- Workers are entitled to more than three consecutive hours if the employer determines the circumstances warrant a longer break from work.
- Workers do not lose any pay or other benefits while receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.
“We want to ensure that everyone in the province gets vaccinated,” Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said in a release. “The amendment today ensures workers also have paid time off during the work hours to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”
New Democratic Party Education Critic Carla Beck, who was holding a press conference at the time of the government announcement. Asked about this, she said it’s been a concern she’s heard, getting time off to take your shot.
Beck said, “I think that, on the surface, it’s good. Lineups have been longer than three hours recently, but that is, I think, certainly moving in the right direction.”
Beck said she would look further into the details.