Access to paid sick leave for Nova Scotians

Nova Scotians who must take time off work due to COVID-19 may now qualify for up to four paid sick days under Nova Scotia’s new COVID-19 Sick Leave Program. The $16 million program is expected to help more than 100,000 Nova Scotians.

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. This includes those who need to take time off because they are awaiting a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test appointment, and those who are getting tested, are self-isolating while awaiting test results, or are going to get vaccinated.

The sick days do not have to be taken consecutively. Any sick days taken between May 10, 2021, and July 31, 2021, may be eligible for the program.

“We want employees to stay home if they are feeling unwell and follow public health protocols to help reduce the spread of COVID,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “Paid sick leave means they won’t have to make a difficult decision between their health and the health of others, or their own financial well-being.”

Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Sick Leave Program covers 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 12-week period is $640 per worker. Eligible businesses that continue to pay their employees during their leave will be eligible to be reimbursed by the program.

The program complements the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), which may apply after an employee has been off for 50 per cent or more of their scheduled work week.

The Nova Scotia Co-operative Council will administer the program on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia. The program will be retroactive to May 10, 2021.

Full details, including application forms, will be available when the program launches on May 26 at:

Quick Facts:

Nova Scotia’s Sick Leave Benefit is a voluntary program for workers, businesses and self-employed people based on research and analysis, Nova Scotia’s Paid Sick Leave Program is expected to help more than 100,000 Nova Scotians and will cost $16 million to administer