The province is calling on the federal government to finalize a national paid sick leave program.

Premier Brian Pallister says the Pan-Canadian Sick Leave Program would allow Manitobans to stay home from work when needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 without financial hardship.

"As we continue to restart our economy and reopen our communities, we must do everything we can to help employers and employees follow the public health orders and measures that are in place to mitigate the spread of this virus," Pallister says. "I urge the federal government to move quickly on their program so that all Canadians can do the right thing and stay home when they are sick, without the fear of losing their hard-earned income."

The Pan-Canadian Sick Leave Program that was announced nearly a month ago is part of the Safe Restart Agreement between Canada and all provinces and territories. The Manitoba Employment Standards Code does not require an amendment to make this federally delivered program function. However, if the province is asked to deliver the program on behalf of the federal government, Pallister says the province will review the legislation to determine if provincial changes are required.

"Manitobans and Canadians want safe work, but we can only achieve that if we continue to follow the fundamentals and the advice of our public health-care teams," Pallister adds. "We will continue to work with the federal government and our provincial and territorial colleagues to expedite the delivery of this important program to protect the health and well-being of all Canadians, especially those most vulnerable."

Earlier this spring, the Manitoba government passed legislation to provide job protection for Manitobans who are self-isolating or are caring for a family member due to COVID-19. Pallister says the province will compensate health-care workers who are required to self-isolate for 14 days due to possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.