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S.M. 2020, c. 18

Bill 44, 3rd Session, 42nd Legislature

The Employment Standards Code Amendment Act

Explanatory Note

This note is a reader's aid and is not part of the law.

This Act amends The Employment Standards Code.

Before this enactment, employees who were unable to work due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic were entitled to a temporary leave of absence.

The amendments allow an employee to take a leave if the employee is more susceptible to COVID-19 because of an underlying medical condition, ongoing medical treatment or other illness. Other circumstances for taking leave in relation to COVID-19 may be set by regulation.

Employers may require employees to verify a leave by providing a certificate of a health professional only if permitted to do so by regulation.

A transitional provision previously enacted in April 2020 is repealed.

(Assented to October 28, 2020)

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. c. E110 amended


The Employment Standards Code is amended by this Act.


The centred heading before section 59.12 is replaced with "PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY LEAVE — COVID-19".


Subsection 59.12(2) is amended

(a) by adding the following after clause (b):

(b.1) the employee is, in the opinion of a health officer or health professional, or according to information or directions issued or provided by the Government of Manitoba or the Government of Canada, more susceptible to COVID-19 because the employee

(i) has an underlying medical condition,

(ii) is undergoing medical treatment, or

(iii) has contracted another illness;

(b) by striking out "or" at the end of clause (f), adding "or" at the end of clause (g) and adding the following after clause (g):

(h) any other circumstances prescribed by regulation.


The following is added after subsection 59.12(2):

Conditions on certain circumstances


 A leave under clause (2)(b.1) or (d) is subject to any condition prescribed by regulation.


Subsection 59.12(3) is amended by striking out "clauses (2)(a) to (g)" and substituting "clauses (2)(a) to (h)".


Subsection 59.12(4) is amended by striking out everything after "as soon as practicable.".


Subsection 60(3.1) is replaced with the following:

Requests for physician's certificate and medical certificate


On or after March 1, 2020, for a leave under

(a) section 54 or 55 (maternity leave);

(b) section 59.2 (compassionate care leave);

(c) section 59.6 (unpaid leave for organ donation);

(d) section 59.8 (leave related to critical illness);

(e) section 59.10 (long-term leave for serious injury or illness); or

(f) section 59.12 (public health emergency leave);

an employer may require an employee to provide a physician's certificate or a medical certificate only if permitted to do so by regulation.


The following is added after clause 144(1)(o.2.3):

(o.2.4) respecting public health emergency leave, including

(i) prescribing other circumstances for the purpose of clause 59.12(2)(h), and

(ii) prescribing conditions for the purpose of subsection 59.12(2.1);

(o.2.5) respecting the circumstances in which an employer may require a physician's certificate or a medical certificate under subsection 60(3.1);

Retroactive application re leave entitlement


An employee is deemed to have taken leave from their employment under clause 59.12(2)(b.1) of The Employment Standards Code, as enacted by subsection 3(1) of this Act, if the employee has received the Canada recovery sickness benefit under subparagraph 10(1)(f)(ii) of the COVID-19 Response Measures Act (Canada) during the period beginning on September 27, 2020, to the day on which this section comes into force.

S.M. 2020, c. 7 (unproclaimed provision repealed)


Section 5 of The Employment Standards Code Amendment Act, S.M. 2020, c. 7, is repealed.

Coming into force


This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.