The following message was sent by the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
We are following up on the question which was raised during our COVID-19 Update call on Tuesday. With regards to requests from employees to take the child/person for whom they have a duty of care to get the COVID vaccine, our guidance to Departments is the following:
- The employee should first try to schedule the vaccination appointment outside of work hours or work flexible hours to make up the time taken.
- The employee can schedule family related leave to bring a child / person for whom they have a duty of care to the vaccination appointment.
- If that is not possible and all Family related leave has been used, the employer could grant 699 leave for a reasonable time period to get the vaccine as this is related to COVID.
As the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination begins to gain momentum, PSAC would like to remind all federal employees that they can request paid 698 leave to attend their vaccination appointment.
With the 698 leave, employees have access to up to a half-day of paid leave to attend a medical or dental appointment. This includes an appointment for vaccination, and time to travel to and from the vaccination site.
The paid leave is possible under a Treasury Board policy covering medical and dental appointments, but PSAC has been in discussions with Treasury Board to ensure that employees who are getting a vaccine that require a booster are also entitled to paid leave for the second vaccination.
However, since 698 leave is only available to employees of the federal government, we ask that provincial and territorial governments follow the federal Treasury Board example and not penalize employees by docking their pay when they protect themselves and their community by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. All workers, regardless of their jurisdiction, should be able to get vaccinated without worrying about their paycheques.
If you have any questions about your rights on the 698 leave, reach out to your local shop steward, your Component, or the PSAC regional office for help and support.
You can also consult our FAQ about your rights as an employee around COVID-19 screening and vaccination.
This article has also been posted on the PSAC website.