Paid COVID-19 vaccination leave in place for B.C.

April 28, 2021 | Veronica S. C. Rossos, Jenifer C. Gentle

On April 27, the BC government’s amendments to the Employment Standards Act were passed providing employees with up to three hours of paid leave to get each dose of their vaccine. The amendments are retroactive to April 19, 2021.

Pursuant to the amendments, if requested by their employer, an employee must provide reasonably sufficient proof that they are entitled to the leave. However, an employer must not request a note from a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner or registered nurse for the purposes of a request for this leave.

As discussed in a previous communique, the BC Government has already amended the Employment Standards Regulation, BC Reg 396/95, to create an unpaid leave for employees who require leave to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or to assist a dependant who is being vaccinated against COVID-19. This unpaid leave remains in effect, along with the new paid leave, so that employees can accompany dependant family members to get vaccinated, or if they need more than the three hours of paid leave to obtain their vaccine.

British Columbia is the third province to provide for paid COVID-19 vaccination leave after Saskatchewan and Alberta. Ontario is expected to introduce similar legislation on April 29, 2021. We will continue to provide you with updates as they arise.


This publication is provided as an information service and may include items reported from other sources. We do not warrant its accuracy. This information is not meant as legal opinion or advice.

Miller Thomson LLP uses your contact information to send you information electronically on legal topics, seminars, and firm events that may be of interest to you. If you have any questions about our information practices or obligations under Canada's anti-spam laws, please contact us at

© 2022 Miller Thomson LLP. This publication may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety provided no alterations are made to the form or content. Any other form of reproduction or distribution requires the prior written consent of Miller Thomson LLP which may be requested by contacting