Protection for employees accessing federal recovery program benefits

February 17, 2021 | Nathanial Day

On February 3, 2021, the Government of Saskatchewan issued a press release announcing that it has amended The Employment Standards Regulations to extend job protection to employees accessing the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit or the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.

Don Morgan, the Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister, commented that the amendments will ensure that employees who access the federal recovery benefits will be able to return to their job after taking a leave.

The amendments include provisions providing job protection for:

  • Employees that are absent due to illness, self-isolating, or have an underlying health condition which makes them susceptible to COVID-19; or are providing care to a child or disabled family member; and
  • Are in receipt of, or will be applying for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit or the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.

These amendments follow changes made to The Saskatchewan Employment Act in March of 2020 that removed the requirement for a doctor’s note or certificate for employees required to isolate for COVID-19 reasons. The March amendments also dispensed with the requirement for employees to have worked 13 consecutive weeks with the employer before they can access COVID-19 related leave. A new unpaid public health emergency leave was also created.

We will continue to follow and report on amendments made to Saskatchewan employment legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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