laying off workers as COVID-19 forces attractions to close.  Alberta’s Employment Standards Code requires workers to get one week's notice if on the job for less than two years, and two weeks if employed longer. Some employment contracts require longer notice periods.

Changes to the Employment Standards Code will allow full and part-time employees to take 14 days of job-protected leave if they are required to self-isolate or care for a child or dependent adult that is self-isolating. Employees can ask to use vacation or banked overtime, but employers don’t have to grant the request. Employers can ask workers to volunteer to take vacation or banked overtime during the leave.

Workers are entitled to WCB compensation if they contract COVID-19 as a direct result of their employment, the Workers Compensation Board said in an employee fact sheet. An acute care hospital worker who treats COVID-19 patients is covered but not a cafeteria worker at a hospital or a grocery store clerk because they are not at greater risk than the general public of contracting the virus. Employers also don’t need to report cases where a staff member caught COVID-19 from a co-worker.

Federal Employment Insurance coverage changes are complex but include an Emergency Care Benefit providing up to $900 bi-weekly for 15 weeks to:

  • Workers, including self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
  • Workers, including self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent, but do not quality for EI sickness benefits.
  • Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures and are unable to earn employment income, whether they qualify for EI or not.

Published By:

Paul Cashman