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A “vaccine break” for COVID-19 vaccination

May 12, 2021 Employment and Labour Law Bulletin < 1 minute read

Quebec follows the lead of the common law provinces[1] taking legislative action to encourage vaccination.

Inspired by an existing requirement allowing employees to be absent from work in order to vote in elections, Quebec Solidaire, an opposition party, is calling for all employees to receive a four-hour paid break to allow them to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Bill 798 gives all employees the right to be absent from work for at least four consecutive hours, without reduction of pay in order to receive each of the two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine until the date the health emergency declared by the Quebec government on March 13, 2020 is lifted.

Accordingly, if Bill 798 is passed, employees will not have to go for COVID-19 vaccinations on their own personal time or take sick leave if going for a vaccination during working hours.

This Bill does provide, among other things, that an employee who wishes to be absent from work to be vaccinated has to notify his or her employer of his or her absence as soon as possible. However, the Bill does not specify any deadline for the employee to do so.

It should also be noted that no effective date for this Bill has been set.

We will follow developments in this regard and keep you informed of any progress on Bill 798.

[1] In particular: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

by Shari Munk-Manel, Mireille Germain and Nicholas Yanakis.

A Cautionary Note

The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.

© McMillan LLP 2021

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