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

Just Posted

75-year-old woman rescued from near-drowning in Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

Paramedics called to Oak Bay golf course as man crashes bike into sand trap

Oak Bay police respond to social distance concerns

Island liquor stores see spike in sales amidst COVID-19

Customers are buying go-to products in larger quantities

Friends, family suprise Current Swell singer and new wife with socially distant wedding

‘We just thought we were going over there to have a glass of champagne and do some paperwork’

Man charged after Langford shooting last year sentenced to 4.5 years

Justin Lemmen found guilty of firearms offenses

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

Saanich moves forward with summer camp registration despite COVID-19

District to give full refunds if camps are cancelled

Vancouver Island teen earns $100,000 commerce scholarship to the University of Calgary

Matias Totz is graduating from St. Michaels University School

COVID-19: Vancouver Island man forges hearts for his community

Dave Kasprick has already given out approximately 400, plans to make it 600

After 37 years, Campbell River Arts Council annual members’ show goes online

38th Annual Members Show shifted from physical gallery to website

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Most Read