(Files by Catherine Garrett-MyPGNow)

Workers can take the time they need to receive the COVID-19 vaccine without fear of losing their jobs, after a new announcement from the BC Government.

The Province has made regulatory improvements under the Employment Standards Act to bring in a job-protected leave.

Part-time and full-time workers will be able to take time to travel and receive the vaccine or to take a dependent family member.

In addition, the government will explore options to provide workers with paid leave while getting their vaccine.

This will include consultations with B.C.’s business community, labour organizations, and workers who have been hit hardest by the impacts of the pandemic.

This change also includes expanding job-protected leave for reasons related to COVID-19 to fully align with the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and Recovery Caregiving Benefit.

A worker can now take job-protected leave if they need to care for other family members because of COVID-19, and not only a child or dependent adult as previously defined.

It also allows workers with underlying conditions, who are undergoing treatment or who have contracted another illness that makes them more susceptible to COVID-19, to take the leave.