On Wednesday, April 21, 2021, the Government of Alberta passed Bill 71, Employment Standards (COVID-19 Vaccination Leave) Amendment Act, 2021. Bill 71 took effect the same day.
Under Bill 71, all employees in Alberta (whether part-time or full-time and regardless of how long they have been employed) are entitled to up to three consecutive hours of paid, job-protected leave to obtain each dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Additional provisions of this leave include:
- Employees are required to give their employers as much notice as is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances prior to taking this vaccination leave. The Government of Alberta encourages employers and employees to work together when scheduling vaccination leaves.
- Although on request employees are entitled to a maximum of three consecutive hours of leave, employers have the prerogative to allow for longer leave if, in their opinion, the circumstances warrant a longer leave.
- Employers have the responsibility of ensuring that employees taking this vaccination leave do not lose any earnings or other benefits.
- If requested by their employer, employees must provide reasonably sufficient proof that they are entitled to this leave. However, employees are not required to provide medical certificates, records of immunization or to disclose to their employer any underlying medical conditions to prove entitlement to the leave.
Overall, Bill 71’s amendments to the Employment Standards Code reduces barriers for Albertans to be vaccinated by providing all Albertan employees with paid, job-protected leave to obtain their COVID-19 vaccinations