MB: Amendment to protected leave due to COVID-19
The Manitoba government has amended the Employment Standards Code so more workers can take protected leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic and apply for federal benefits. The federal program came into effect September 27 and Manitoba’s legislation is retroactive to that date.
Amendments to the provincial code were necessary to close gaps between Manitoba’s existing protected leave provisions and the new federal program, and ensure all Manitoba workers eligible for the new Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) are protected if they take a leave of absence from their job to access the benefits.
In April, the Manitoba government introduced unlimited unpaid protected leave for workers required to self-isolate or care for a family member because of the pandemic. To align with federal eligibility criteria, the amendments would extend provincial leave entitlements to include workers who are more susceptible to COVID-19 because of underlying health conditions, ongoing medical treatments or other illnesses.
Eligible workers can now apply for the newly available CRSB, which offers $500 per week for up to two weeks, and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, which provides workers $500 per week for up to 26 weeks to take time off to care for a family member.