Saskatchewan changes rules around sick leave as it reports another COVID-19 case
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Paid leave is not being considered at this time, says labour minister
REGINA — The Saskatchewan government is changing labour laws to require employers give unpaid sick leave during a public health emergency.
The government made the announcement as it confirmed its eighth positive COVID-19 test, one more than a day earlier.
Health officials say the new case is someone in their 50s who was tested in Regina after returning from a dental conference in Vancouver.
The labour law changes remove a requirement that someone must work at least 13 consecutive weeks at a job before qualifying for sick leave. They also remove the provision that requires a doctor’s note to qualify for sick leave.
“It will ensure that anybody who is either ill or is required to take a leave that their job is protected for them so that they do not lose their employment during the time that they’re off,” Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said Tuesday.
Last week, Alberta changed its labour laws to provide 14 days of paid leave for workers who self-isolate due to the novel coronavirus or who are caring for someone with COVID-19.
But Morgan said making the leave paid is too complicated and it’s not something the Saskatchewan is considering at this time.
“A lot of workers will have paid sick time or will get compensation from employment insurance if they’ve worked for the 13 weeks and we understand the federal government may be looking to reduce or change that,” he said.
“We’re going to look at and see what kind of other supports might be necessary in the broader sense.”