Compensation & Leaves

I’ve been instructed by a Medical Health Officer to self-isolate but I don’t have any symptoms. Is this considered sick leave?

Although no symptoms are present, if a Medical Health Officer has instructed you to not come into work, stay home and self-isolate, PHC will code this time as paid general leave.
I’ve been instructed by a Medical Health Officer to self-isolate and I have symptoms. What happens in this case? 
In cases where staff have symptoms and need to self-isolate, they need to stay home from work. PHC will code this as sick time. If the illness was contracted through exposure at work, it would be considered a WorkSafeBC claim and will be submitted as such by the employer.

Workers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 must remain off work until symptoms are fully resolved and negative laboratory tests have been confirmed.

What if I have no more sick time available? 
You should be able to access EI medical leave benefits. Please see the EI medical leave section on the Service Canada website.
What happens if I contract COVID-19 at work?

Please notify your manager right away. If staff contract COVID-19 through exposure at work, it is a WorkSafeBC (WSBC) claim and will be submitted as such by the employer.

WSBC considers many factors in determining whether an injury or illness was caused by work or the work environment. This policy will remain the same for COVID-19 claims. For more information, please visit the WorkSafeBC website. https://www.worksafebc.com/en/claims

Workers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 must remain off work until symptoms are fully resolved and negative laboratory tests have been confirmed.

  1. Staff must complete the Scheduling Change Request Form and submit it to their manager.
  2. Managers will then directly inform their staffing clerk of the cancellation (i.e., no need to engage HR in the process).
  3. Cancellations will be permitted even when a unit has scheduled other staff to replace the employee on leave.
  4. All Nurses' Bargaining Association (NBA) & part-time Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) employees who are scheduled to provide back-fill may be re-deployed; their shifts will not be cancelled.
  5. Requests to cancel leaves of absence outside this period should continue to be submitted using the Approved Leave or Vacation Change Request Process.
How will I be compensated if I need to care for children or family members?

On March 17, 2020 the BC government announced the indefinite closure of K to 12 schools. Employees who are unable to attend work because they are required to care for their children may access paid leave banks such as vacation and banked overtime.

In these circumstances, staff do not qualify for a paid general leave or sick leave. If you do not have vacation or banked overtime and cannot attend work, you will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence.

Asymptomatic health care workers who are required to remain at home to care for sick family members may use vacation and banked overtime. They do not qualify for a general paid leave or sick leave. If you do not have banks and cannot attend work, you will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence.

Special leave for unionized employees or personal leave for non-contract employees may be applicable depending on the circumstances. Please continue to follow current processes for requesting these leaves

We do appreciate that this will be difficult for staff with children, and we will do all that we can to help. Please watch for information on child care resources for Providence staff in future bulletins.

Federal Resources Available

 A new Canada Emergency Response Benefit has been announced that will provide a taxable benefit of $2000 a month for up to four months to working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures. This benefit will begin in April. More information can be found on the Government of Canada website.

What if I have underlying health issues?
Employees with underlying health conditions who are at a higher risk for serious illness due to COVID-19 will be treated as a medical accommodation. In the current circumstances, the PHC’s accommodation assessment will be done quickly and will not involve requirements for staff to provide further medical documentation.

Employees with underlying health conditions can expect to:

  • Be redeployed the to avoid direct patient care or otherwise minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19 or
  • Work from home where possible. Please see information here on working remotely.

If these options are unavailable, the employee may be placed on sick leave - the same as any other employee with a medical condition that prevents them from working. These accommodations will be granted on a temporary basis and revisited once the current pressure on the health care system has subsided.

What if I’m pregnant?
Questions and concerns have been raised regarding the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during pregnancy. We anticipate receiving further guidance from the Ministry of Health regarding the impact and health risks of COVID-19 in relation to employees who are pregnant. Until further information is available, pregnant employees who are concerned about attending work due to COVID-19 will be accommodated as per the process outlined above for employees with an underlying health condition.

If a pregnant employee cannot be accommodated and must remain away from work, that employee will be placed on sick leave.

Providence and our partners will continue to seek additional information regarding the issue of exposure to COVID-19 during pregnancy and we will provide further guidance as information becomes available.

Should I cancel my out of country vacation?
Yes. We are asking all staff not to travel abroad at this time following government’s travel advisory on travel outside of Canada announced March 12, 2020.
What if I had vacation or other leave scheduled and now need to cancel?
Health authorities and Providence Health Care will allow all staff to cancel all pre-approved leaves scheduled in the next sixty (60) days, including vacation, union leaves, banked overtime leaves, etc., effective Friday, March 13, 2020.

Requests to cancel leaves will not require manager/HR approval. This means that managers will not need to approve employee requests to cancel previously approved planned leaves and will not need to consult with their HR Advisor. Though there is no need for manager approval, employees are required as per the process below to ensure their leaders know that their leaves are being cancelled.

 To cancel an approved leave scheduled in the next sixty (60) days, please follow the process below:

  • Staff must complete the Scheduling Change Request Form and submit it to their manager.
  • Managers will then directly inform their staffing clerk of the cancellation (i.e., no need to engage HR in the process).
  • Cancellations will be permitted even when a unit has scheduled other staff to replace the employee on leave.
  • All Nurses' Bargaining Association (NBA) & part-time Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association (HSPBA) employees who are scheduled to provide back-fill may be re-deployed; their shifts will not be cancelled.
  • Requests to cancel leaves of absence outside this period should continue to be submitted using the Approved Leave or Vacation Change Request Process.
What if I had vacation scheduled and I am now ill?
In the event an employee is sick or injured prior to the commencement of their vacation, such employee shall be granted sick leave (or WSBC leave if employee has contracted COVID-19 through work) and the vacation period so displaced shall be added to the vacation period if requested by the employee and agreed to by the Employer, or the time shall be credited for use at a later date.
This page last updated Apr 1, 2020 4:47pm PDT