The province is hoping to reduce financial barriers that may be in the way of getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Manitoba's Finance Minister Scott Fielding says an amendment made to the Employment Standards Code will mean Manitobas can get three hours of paid leave from the jobs to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Our government is removing barriers so Manitobans can confidently book a COVID-19 vaccination during work hours without fear of losing out on their regular wages," Fielding says in a statement.

Premier Brian Pallister announced Friday during a press conference Manitobans would receive leave for vaccines, along with COVID-19 related paid sick leave.

Fielding says this amendment means employers must pay employees for up to three hours as they receive all of their COVID-19 vaccine doses.

People will be paid by their employers at the employee's regular rate, or an average of their usual wage and or commission. If an employee has to travel further or is suffering from vaccine side effects they can take longer, unpaid leave. 

“We’ve heard most employers in Manitoba are already offering paid vaccination leave to their employees, and we thank them for understanding the importance of a vaccinated workforce."

Employers are not allowed to require a doctor's note or medical certificate to grant the required leave. Employees are expected to give "reasonable verification of the necessity of the leave."

Some workers have previously been prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine including police officers and congregant living workers. Earlier in the pandemic, nurses struggle to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments as some nurse's full workloads and double shifts did not leave time for a vaccine under the typical operating hours.