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Paid vaccination leave is what B.C. workers need

Health professional in goggles and mask giving COVID vaccine needle to seated man.
April 1, 2021 - 3:00 AM

VANCOUVER—The B.C. government needs to stand up to a handful of business lobbyists and implement paid vaccination leave and paid sick leave, said Unifor.

“As it stands, workers are paying to take time off work to be vaccinated,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “Workers don’t need the bare minimum to defeat COVID-19, they need every possible opportunity to be vaccinated without financial penalty.”

The unpaid leave announced today by the B.C. government will prevent employers from terminating workers who take time to be vaccinated during work hours. Saskatchewan has already announced three consecutive hours of paid vaccination leave and Unifor is calling for the same measure in every province to expedite the vaccination process.

“If workers can get paid time off to vote, they deserve paid time off to receive a vaccine to end the deadliest pandemic in the modern era,” said McGarrigle. “Some employers won’t like it, but our province’s public health is more important than the short-sighted demands of a small group of CEOs.”

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For media inquiries or to arrange interviews via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at or 778-903-6549 (cell).