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Vax Pass: B.C. gov. announces three hours paid time off for worker vaccines

Victoria, British Columbia — An update to the Employment Standards Act announced on Monday will allow British Columbians up to three hours of paid leave for COVID-19 vaccine appointments, in an effort by the province to ensure that no wages are lost for employees looking to get in line.

“We know that many workers can’t afford to lose pay, and we need to make sure that it’s as easy as possible for workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Harry Bains, B.C.’s Minister of Labour. 

“This paid leave will ensure that no one will have to choose between losing pay and getting their doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Provincial labour leader, Kim Novak, spoke positively of the announcement.

“We are pleased with the news that the B.C. government is mandating paid time off for all workers to get COVID-19 vaccinations,” said Novak, president of UFCW 1518. 

“Today’s announcement means a critical barrier has been removed for workers – they no longer have to choose between getting paid at work or getting their life-saving vaccinations. This is a big step in the right direction and a big win for workers, especially those who have been working on the front lines throughout this pandemic. They have been hit hard and no longer must worry about having their pay cheque deducted for getting their vaccines. We thank Minister Bains and the B.C. government for acting swiftly on this legislation.”

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