Tri-County Vanguard

Paid sick leave relaunches in Nova Scotia


Nova Scotians who have been impacted by the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic may qualify for up to four paid sick days with the relaunch of Nova Scotia's COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Program, the provincial government says.

"We know people are feeling extra stressed . . . and we want them to know more assistance is coming with the relaunch of this temporary program," said Premier Tim

Houston in late December. "People should continue to do the right thing – just as they did during the third wave – to keep our workplaces safe. Please follow public health protocols and stay home when you are not feeling well."

People who cannot work remotely and miss less than 50 per cent of their scheduled work time in a one-week period due to COVID-19 may be eligible for the program. Full details, including eligibilit­y for Nova Scotia's program, were to be provided online early in the new year.

Nova Scotia's COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Program is expected to relaunch Jan. 10 and be in place until March

31. The program will be retroactiv­e to include sick days starting from Dec. 20, 2021.

The program will cover employee wages, including wages of self-employed people, up to a maximum of $20 per hour or $160 per day. The maximum payment over the 15-week period is $640 per worker. Eligible businesses that continue to pay their employees during their leave may be reimbursed by the program.

The program complement­s the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, which may apply after an employee has been off for 50 per cent or more of their scheduled work week. The federal program runs until May 2022.

The Nova Scotia program originally launched on May 26, 2021, and covered sick days from May 10 to July 31, 2021. About $600,000 was paid out to Nova Scotians and 4,000 sick days were covered.

The total program cost, including administra­tion, was just under $1 million.

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