Unifor calls for paid time off for all workers to get vaccinated

April 1, 2021

TORONTO—Unifor is calling on all provinces to mandate paid time off to allow workers to get vaccinated when it is their turn to do so.

“While some good employers out there are already doing this, most are not and won’t unless government forces them to just do the right thing,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

Provincial legislation is needed immediately to mandate paid time off for vaccination to ensure a timely rollout for all workers, similar to legislating time off to vote in elections, says Canada’s largest private sector union.

“We all know that vaccination is key to paving the way for the safe re-opening of businesses, and the economic recovery we are all waiting for. Employers who are advocating for lifting restrictions must also do their part and remove all barriers to workers to get the vaccine,” said Dias.

Dias and Unifor’s Regional Directors are writing all provincial premiers who have not legislated paid vaccine leave, calling for urgent action to mandate both vaccine leave and paid sick days, so workers who contract Covid-19 or who must quarantine can stay home without financial penalty.

“The social impact of the pandemic has disproportionately affected workers, exposing inequities across our society. We cannot stand by and allow the vaccine rollout to follow this dangerous precedent,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National Secretary – Treasurer and chair of Unifor’s Vaccine Working Group.