'We must do everything we can to help employers and employees follow public health orders and limit the spread'
Manitoba is proposing to expand COVID-19 job-protected leave entitlements.
In April, the Manitoba government introduced unlimited unpaid protected leave for workers required to self-isolate or care for a family member because of the pandemic. To align with federal eligibility criteria, the new amendments would extend provincial leave entitlements to include workers who are more susceptible to COVID-19 because of underlying health conditions, ongoing medical treatments or other illnesses.
“By expanding the job-protected leave we provided Manitobans in April, we will further protect workers, their families and co-workers during the pandemic,” says Premier Brian Pallister. “It’s critical for all Manitobans to stay home when feeling ill, and we must do everything we can to help employers and employees follow public health orders and measures in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.”
Amendments to the provincial code are necessary to close gaps between Manitoba’s existing protected leave provisions and the new federal program, and ensure all Manitoba workers eligible for the new Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) are protected if they take a leave of absence from their job to access the benefits, says the government.
Eligible workers can now apply for the newly available CRSB, which offers $500 per week for up to two weeks, and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), which provides workers $500 per week for up to 26 weeks to take time off to care for a family member.
British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan have all provided job-protected leaves to workers amid the pandemic.