The Manitoba Pandemic Paid Sick Leave Program, established to help cover the costs of employee sick leave related to COVID-19, is being extended until March 31, 2022.
“To help protect all Manitobans and safely reopen our economy, it is imperative that workers get their COVID-19 vaccinations and stay home from work when feeling ill,” said Finance Minister Scott Fielding. “We are investing $5 million in the expansion of this program to give Manitobans further assurance that if they are sick, they can stay home without financial repercussions, while also providing employers with financial assistance to accommodate public health guidelines.”
Announced in May, the voluntary program provides eligible employers with up to $600 per employee for a maximum of five full days (40 hours) of COVID-19 related sick leave. Eligible sick leave for the program related to COVID-19 includes testing, vaccinations and side effects, self-isolation due to COVID-19 symptoms or care for a loved one in any of these circumstances.
“We introduced this program to address gaps that exist between the federal Canada Recovery Sickness benefit and provincial employment standards for paid sick leave and the response has been very positive,” said Fielding. “We will continue to work together with the business community to help Manitoba employers and employees get the kinds of supports they may need to meet the unique challenges presented by the pandemic.”
The federal program covers up to four weeks of leave and requires eligible individuals to apply for leave and wait approximately one week for payment. Under Manitoba’s program, employees are paid on schedule and employers can request partial reimbursement from the province.
Eligible employees are those who live in Manitoba and work and receive wages here on a full-time or part-time basis. To date, the program has received approximately 4,250 employer applications representing 16,300 workers, totaling $5.2 million in benefits, with $275 as the average benefit per eligible worker.
For more information, including applications, visit gov.mb.ca.