As of May 26, 2021, Nova Scotians will be able to apply for paid sick days under the province’s new COVID-19 Sick Leave Program. The program will reimburse eligible businesses that continue to pay employees who must take time off work due to COVID-19. This potential reimbursement will cover employee time off taken between May 10, 2021 and July 31, 2021.
Employees who have other sick leave benefits are not eligible for this program, even if they have already used up their benefits.
Those eligible include people who cannot work remotely and miss less than 50% of their scheduled work time in a one-week period due to COVID-19. This includes awaiting a COVID test, self-isolating while awaiting test results, and going to get vaccinated. Employees who miss 50% or more of their scheduled work week are encouraged to apply for assistance under the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB).
Note that sick days do not need to be taken consecutively.
The program covers employee wages up to a maximum of $20 per hour or $160 per day. The maximum payment over the 12 week period is $640 per worker.
Employers must apply for reimbursement within 90 days of when the employee was paid. When applying, a declaration form must be signed by both the employer and employee. A doctor’s note is not required. The Nova Scotia Co-operative Council will administer the program.
For questions or more information contact
Director, Government Relations (Atlantic)