Nova Scotia COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Program Details

Nova Scotians who need to take time off work because of COVID-19 may qualify for up to 4 paid sick days through the COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Program. Businesses can apply for reimbursement for an employee’s pay when an employee needs to take time off. Self-employed workers can also apply. Applications open January 10, 2022.

Employees who miss 50% or more of their scheduled work week may qualify for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) – Canada.ca

How the program works

Workers who cannot work remotely and miss less than 50% of their scheduled work time in a 1-week period because of COVID-19, may be eligible.

This program applies to individuals who need to take time off because they are:

  • self-isolating due to an exposure or a close contact and waiting for rapid or PCR testing
  • self-isolating due to symptoms and waiting for rapid or PCR testing
  • getting rapid or PCR tested for COVID-19
  • self-isolating while waiting for PCR test results
  • getting a vaccine or booster (time missed due to a reaction/symptoms from a vaccine or booster are not covered)

The 4 sick days do not need to be taken consecutively. The program will cover up to 4 eligible sick days taken between December 20, 2021 and March 31, 2022. Claims made under the previous program do not count towards the 4-day total under this relaunched program.

Under the program, employers pay the employee for the time they missed and then apply for reimbursement. The payment is calculated based on the employee’s current rate of pay up to a maximum of $20 per hour or $160 per day (the maximum total payment per employee is $640).

The program compensates pay for eligible employees and loss of income for self-employed workers. It does not cover other payroll expenses such as Employment Insurance (EI) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions.

Eligibility

Employers can apply for reimbursement for an employee’s sick days if they:

  • are a for-profit business or not-for-profit organization
  • have a permanent physical location in Nova Scotia
  • are registered to do business in Nova Scotia
  • are in good standing with the Province of Nova Scotia (not in default of any financial obligations such as loan repayments, taxes, fines, fees and administrative and court orders)
  • are claiming reimbursement for Nova Scotia-based employees
  • do not provide their employees with at least 4 paid sick leave days

Self-employed workers can apply if they:

  • are a resident of Nova Scotia
  • are actively earning income from the business as their primary source of income
  • are registered to do business in Nova Scotia, if applicable
  • have declared business income on their most recent tax return
  • have lost income because they missed time at work
  • are in good standing with the Province of Nova Scotia (not in default of any financial obligations such as loan repayments, taxes, fines, fees and administrative and court orders)
  • are not eligible for or receiving other income support (such as Business Interruption Insurance, Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit or any other income replacement or insurance programs)

These self-employed workers and employers are not eligible:

  • employees who already receive 4 paid sick leave days from their employer (even where the employee has exhausted those days)
  • employees who are receiving benefits from other paid COVID-19 programs
  • businesses, shareholders, officers, directors and partners of the business who are not in good standing with their financial obligations to the Province of Nova Scotia
  • self-employed workers with commission-based earnings claiming for speculative income losses
  • self-employed workers who are not actively earning income from their business
  • businesses that are not currently operating
  • federal, provincial and municipal governments and crown corporations

How to apply

Applications open on January 10, 2022. The Nova Scotia Co-operative Council will process the applications.

Further information is available on the Province of Nova Scotia website at Coronavirus (COVID-19): Paid Sick Leave Program – Government of Nova Scotia, Canada

Businesses

If an employee has COVID-19 symptoms, they should stay home and follow public health advice. Under the program, the employer pays them for the time they’re absent from work and then applies to the program for reimbursement.

You need to apply within 30 days of when the employee was paid.

You do not need a doctor’s note.

Self-employed workers

Self-employed workers need to apply within 30 days of missing work.

You do not need a doctor’s note.

Verification process

Employers are required to provide employee pay information, employee schedules and attendance documentation as part of the online application process.

Self-employed workers are required to provide GST/HST Return and T1 Income Tax Benefit and Return (including Statement of Business or Professional Activities – Form T2125) for their most recent taxation year.

The Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration may conduct spot checks and audits of applications. If it is determined you were not eligible, you will need to pay back the money you received.

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