**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
Paid Sick Leave Relaunches to Support Nova Scotians
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.
“We know people are feeling extra stressed at this holiday time, and we want them to know more assistance is coming with the relaunch of this temporary program,” said Premier Tim Houston. “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, will be provided online early in the new year.
Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Program is expected to relaunch January 10, 2022, and be in place until March 31, 2022. The program will be retroactive to include sick days starting from December 20, 2021.
The program will again 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.
“My team is working diligently to relaunch the program early in the new year while making sure it aligns with the current public health protocols,” said Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration. “We know how effective we can be against COVID when we work together to develop the right supports for Nova Scotians.”
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.
— Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 paid sick leave benefit is a voluntary program for workers, businesses and self-employed people
— the program originally launched 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
More information, including details on eligibility requirements, will be posted to the COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Program website in early January: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/paid-sick-leave-program
More information about the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit is available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-sickness-benefit.html