Changes have been made to the Emergency Leave Regulations under the Employment Standards Act to ensure workers have job protection when they are sick.
Emergency Leave under the Employment Standards Act was originally introduced during the pandemic to provide job-protected leave to employees required to self-isolate under orders made by the Chief Public Health Office. Now that the mandatory isolation requirement has ended, regulations have changed to continue supporting workers.
Under the new regulation change, employees may now use the Emergency Leave for certain types of communicable diseases, including COVID-19. When an employee has been diagnosed with a disease transmitted by respiratory route, such as COVID-19 or influenza, and has been advised to stay home from work by a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner, they can be eligible for Emergency Leave.
This leave will provide employees with unpaid leave and job protection for the duration of their contagious period based on the advice of a medical professional. The regulation changes came into force on Saturday, December 10, 2022.
“These regulation changes will ensure workers have job protection as we continue to follow the advice of the Chief Public Health Office and stay home when we are sick. Our Government is committed to strengthening the Employment Standards Act to support workers, and this is one change with more to come when the comprehensive review of the act is complete.”
– Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Minister Bloyce Thompson