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UPDATE: No employer “paid leave” for Alberta employees. The Alberta Government has reversed its commitment announced on Friday, March 13 to amend the Employment Standards Code (Alberta), which would have required employers to provide employees with 14 days of PAID leave in connection with COVID-19 self-isolation.

The Employment Standards (COVID-19 Leave) Regulation passed on March 17 and announced today entitles employees who are forced to undergo “quarantine” to 14 consecutive days of UNPAID leave. It also does not cover those employees required to care for a loved one in self-isolation, as previously promised. The Alberta Government concurrently announced that employees forced to undergo “quarantine” can apply online for a one-time $572 payment to bridge the gap until federal funds kick in under either EI Sickness Benefits or the newly announced Emergency Care Benefit, which will provide employees with up to $900 biweekly for a maximum of 15 weeks while under “quarantine” or otherwise caring for a loved one in self-isolation. 

The Alberta Government’s change in position since Friday is significant. Importantly, the changes announced today do nothing to address parents forced to care for their children, now out of school and daycare. Parents will still benefit from $900 biweekly under the Federal Emergency Care Benefit, but the Alberta Government has so far not extended the Personal and Family Responsibility Leave from the current 5 days. Much remains uncertain, and we are committed to helping Alberta employees.

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