The Government of Saskatchewan has announced amendments to The Employment Standards Regulations that will extend job protection to employees looking to access the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and Caregiving Benefit.
The amendments include providing job protection for all employees:
• who are absent from work due to illness, self-isolating or who have an underlying health condition which makes them susceptible to COVID-19; or are providing care to a child or disabled family member; and
• who are in receipt of, or will be applying for, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit or the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.
Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan says, “The amendments ensure employees that are accessing the new federal recovery benefits will have jobs to return to after taking leave due to a COVID illness or caring for a family member.”
The Saskatchewan Employment Act also provides unpaid job protection for employees who are absent from work due to their own illness or injury for either 12 days or 12 weeks, depending on the severity of the illness. To assist workers during the pandemic, the government also made an amendment to the Act in March 2020 that removed the requirement of a doctor’s note or certificate for employees, and the requirement for an employee to have worked 13 consecutive weeks with the employer prior to accessing sick leave. In addition, a new unpaid public health emergency leave was created.