The B.C. government is moving ahead with a legislated guarantee that people won’t lose pay or their jobs to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but Labour Minister Harry Bains says most people won’t need it.
Speaking to reporters in advance of presenting legislation Monday, Bains said if individuals need to take time off work to attend a vaccination clinic, they will not have a reduction in pay.
“The clinic hours are such that most workers will be able to schedule their appointments for vaccine outside of their working hours,” Bains said April 19. “But due to some shift schedules, the hours of clinic operations and the location of those clinical offices, I think there will be circumstances where workers may need to take time off during their shift to get vaccinated.
“And whether it’s a part-time worker or a full-time worker, they all will be qualified, but the basic principle remains that if they need to take time of to go get vaccinated, they will not lose their job or their pay.”
One of the hardest-hit communities in B.C. is Surrey, where neighbourhoods with high infection rates are being targeted for AstraZeneca vaccine offered to people aged 40 and up. Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, applauded the paid-leave provision.
“Bringing in a paid leave for a set few hours for staff to get a vaccination is an opportunity for businesses to look at this as an investment in a future free of COVID-19, which will be good for their business and their bottom line, and ultimately economic recovery for all industries,” Huberman said.