A doctor writing on a chart. (Pexels File)

Doctor’s notes should be waived amid COVID-19 spread, B.C. government union says

B.C. government has dropped required doctor’s notes so its employees can access their sick leave

In wake of ongoing concerns of COVID-19 in B.C., a government employees union is calling on employers across the province to stop requiring doctor’s notes in order to limit the virus from spreading further.

“We all have a part to play in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and the message from public health experts is clear — one critically important thing we all need to do is stay home if we feel sick,” president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union said in a statement Tuesday.

ALSO READ: B.C. records first COVID-19 death in Canada as province hits 32 cases

“Right now many employers require workers to produce a doctor’s note to access their sick leave, which creates a needless administrative hurdle for workers, an additional strain on our health care system, and an increased risk of spreading the infection.”

On Friday, the province announced it would drop required doctor’s notes so government employees can access their sick leave — a move Smith called “a seemingly small decision that would have an enormous impact as we navigate this public health crisis.”

WATCH: A look at how Canadian workplaces can prepare for a coronavirus outbreak

One person in B.C. has died from the virus, a man in his 80s who was a resident of a seniors home in Lynn Valley, and 31 other patients have been placed in quarantine or self isolation since early February. Four of those people have since been released.

Health officials have urged anyone who feels ill or shows flu or cold-like symptoms to simply stay home in order to minimize the risk of others becoming infected. If symptoms worsen, people should call HealthLink BC, by dialing 811, instead of visiting their doctor’s office or a hospital.

Symptoms of the novel coronavirus can range from mild to severe and include coughing, a fever and shortness of breath.

Paid sick leave is not currently covered by B.C.’s Employment Standards Act, which means that part-time and casual workers are often left being forced to go unpaid if they cannot work. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has encouraged businesses to be flexible and allow employees to work from home, as well as host “virtual gatherings” in stead of in-person meetings.

The federal government is expected to announce some kind of support for businesses affected by the novel coronavirus later this week.

ALSO READ: Feds have fiscal room to react to impacts of COVID-19, says Bill Morneau


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kitimat residents find unique ways to celebrate birthdays while practicing social distancing

The Northern Sentinel spoke with a number of parents whose children had birthdays recently

RDKS developing strategy to bring higher internet speeds to remote areas

Results of public survey will help ISPs build business case for funding

School district digs in on instruction resumption

Senior official calls the process a “marathon”

‘A positive move’: Mayor of Kitimat gives thoughts on new provincial, federal COVID-19 measures

The Province recently announced new powers for bylaw officers and bans on reselling food

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

COVID-19: Social media use goes up as country stays indoors

Overall messaging is up more than 50 per cent over the last month

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

Most Read