SUMMARY: COVID-19 TESTING & COMPENSATION LOU

Below is a summary of the COVID-19: Testing and Compensation Letter of Understanding (LOU) that is currently in effect with numerous productionsThe motivating factors that led to bargaining the LOU were the safe return of productions back to BC and a meaningful way to encourage our members and all those who work under our collective agreements to stay home if they were ill or exhibited symptoms of COVID-19, as per the advice of the Public Health Officer.  This advice may be considered contrary to how our industry historically operated, where it was common to continue, or show up, to work even if you were feeling sick.

Summary:

The purpose of the LOU is to facilitate and assist workplace safety and compensate workers when they are impacted by COVID-19. If an Employer decides to implement COVID-19 testing and/or other screening, some of the common considerations include:

  • WorksafeBC; advice from BC Provincial Health Officer (PHO); BC Human Rights Code; Labour Relations Code; Employment Standards Act; BC’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and the types of COVID-19 testing available and their relative invasiveness.
  • Whether or not testing is reasonable depending on community infection rate, the employee’s position, and whether other less intrusive measures are enough to achieve workplace safety.
  • Only actively employed employees may be mandated to test, and employer must follow human rights and privacy legislation.

Temporary COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Eligibility and Pay:

  • Employees shall receive temporary COVID-19 paid sick leave up to a maximum of ten (10) days due to an Eligible COVID-19 Event until they are cleared to return to work by the applicable Health Authority, under any of the following circumstances (each an “Eligible COVID-19 Event”):
    • The employee tested positive for COVID-19
    • The employee has exhibited symptoms of COVID-19
    • The Employer has requested that the employee isolate or self-quarantine because another person with who he or she has been in close contact has tested positive for or exhibited signs of COVID-19.
    • A member of the employee’s household has tested positive for or exhibited symptoms of COVID-19.
    • A public official or healthcare provider has requested that the employee isolate or self – quarantine due to COVID-19.
    • All tests are subject to applicable minimum calls for a regular workday and nothing in the LOU prohibits the Employer from providing a higher pay rate and/or longer duration than that outlined in the agreement.

What is not addressed in the LOU is in the event you are tested on your first day of work and sent home with a direction to remain at home to await the results, which could take 2-3 days, the Union expects the Employer to compensate you for those days.

Please note that anyone seeking an accommodation due to a medical disability preventing you from complying with the company policy, regarding wearing certain PPE, testing or work assignment may, depending on the circumstances, be required to provide the Employer with general information about the current medical condition, the prognosis for recovery, a functional assessment of current abilities and limitations; and the extent and nature of your disability and how to accommodate you.

Please include the Union in discussions surrounding requests to your Employer for accommodation.

Click here for a list of productions that have a signed LOU and refer to the website for future updates.

In the words of Dr. Bonnie Henry: “Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe”