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Leaves & Timekeeping

Information about overtime, vacation, leaves and the PHSA Early Absence Reporting Line (PEARL) process during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Page updated: October 20, 2021, 12:30 p.m.

If your leave requires a record of employment (ROE), learn how to request an ROE.

We appreciate that many of our team members are working significant amounts of sustained overtime in an effort to manage the response to COVID-19.

Quick reference guides:

For unionized staff, the collective agreement terms and conditions continue to apply.

The information below applies to non-contract employees and managers currently working on COVID-19 and is not applicable to physicians, residents, fellows, and scientists as well as senior leadership and executive leadership teams. 

Non-contract employees

Employees working in non-manager roles who are asked to work overtime have the option of receiving overtime (which can be banked or paid out) or CTO days. Employees who elect to have overtime hours banked or paid out do not have an option for CTO days and should not receive both overtime and CTO days.

Compensation for overtime hours for non-contract, non-management staff, including hours worked on statutory holidays, will continue to follow the guidelines set out in the Employment Standards Act.

Overtime hours eligible for compensation must be approved in advance.

Refer to the guideline Overtime & Compensatory Time-Off for Non-Contract Employees (PDF) on POD for additional information (available only when connected to the network).

Process for non-contract employees

  • You must track and input your overtime hours into the Workforce Management System (Workbrain).
    • Log in to the Workforce Management System and select the ESS Overtime Form
    • Complete the form with your employee ID, the date you worked overtime, when you started to work overtime and when you finished, and provide the reason for overtime. If you are working on a scheduled day off, check the “Day Off” box. 
    • You can select to bank overtime hours on the form. If this box is not selected approved overtime hours will be paid out.
    • Submit the form to your leader for approval.
  • Per the Employment Standards Act, employees receive extra pay to work on a statutory holiday (employees are paid time-and-a-half for hours worked on a statutory holiday – double time for hours worked over 12 hours). 
  • If you require additional information for workforce management, please see the workforce management page on POD or email

Non-contract leaders

Effective Nov. 1, 2020, we have reinstated COVID-19 extraordinary pay for non-contract employees in management functions. This applies for hours worked between 45 and up to a maximum of 60 hours per week, specifically on COVID-19 related projects. 

Until Dec. 17, 2021, extraordinary pay is also available for non-contract employees in management functions who are supporting the B.C. flood response. Hours related to floods should be submitted per the below and will be processed following the same extraordinary events compensation guidelines for COVID-19 related initiatives. 

Leaders must submit a list identifying management staff who have been or will be required to work extraordinary hours on COVID-19 project initiatives or flood response initiatives to their senior leadership team member for pre-approval. Senior leadership team members must send their approved list of management staff eligible for extraordinary hours to   

We will review this process on a regular basis. For more details on extraordinary pay related to COVID-19, review the leaders’ bulletin issued on Dec. 22.  

Eligible management staff must have their extraordinary hours approved by their respective leader and submit a tracker to by 4 p.m. for the following time periods:

As this process continues, the due date for each tracker will continue to be 4 p.m. on the Tuesday following the end of the pay period. Updated trackers will be posted to this page as they are made available. 

If you have questions, email .

Vacation & Leaves

Employees who are sick should not be at work, and should recuperate at home. For more guidance, see the Exposure & Illness page.

In alignment with the Provincial Health Officer order (PDF) on mandatory vaccination for health-care workers, PHSA staff must receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine before October 26, 2021, otherwise they will be placed on unpaid leave. They will not be permitted to use banked time or other forms of paid leave after this date.

They will not be permitted to work remotely as a PHSA employee and they will not be allowed on-site at PHSA’s facilities. The only exception is for staff who have submitted proof their request for a medical deferral or exemption is pending approval from the Provincial Health Officer.

Code/leave type

  • FT/PT Reg – Unpaid General Leave (UGL) 
    • Under Leave Reason – select “COVID-Vaccination"

The B.C. government has introduced amendments to the Employment Standards Act to provide staff with a paid leave of up to three hours to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

This amendment ensures that no employee will lose pay if they need time away from scheduled work to get vaccinated. This applies to both full-time and part-time employees.

  • Due to the nature of our work, not all staff will require leave to get their COVID-19 vaccination, including if appointments are made outside of work hours.
  • This paid leave is retroactive to April 19, 2021 and will be available to staff for each dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • Staff who received their COVID-19 vaccine after April 19, 2021 and accessed their sick banks may resubmit their leave as Paid General Leave (select “COVID-19” as leave reason) to have their sick time reinstated. 

This leave does not apply to staff assisting family members to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Staff who need time off work to assist a dependent or family member remain eligible for an unpaid leave of absence. 

While the Employment Standards Act does not apply to salaried physicians, PHSA strongly believes in the importance of COVID-19 vaccines and will be making paid vaccination leave available to all PHSA salaried physicians. Physicians who are engaged as independent contractors or on a fee-for-service basis will be treated in the same manner as non-physician independent contractors of PHSA, who are not eligible for this leave. 

Code/leave type

  • FT/PT Reg – Paid General Leave 
    • Under Leave Reason – Select “COVID-19”

The B.C. government has amended the Employment Standards Act for paid leave of up to 3 days for COVID-19 related illness. This new leave is applicable to casual status employees effective May 20 to Dec. 31, 2021.

This new paid COVID-19 leave does not apply to employees caring for others. Employees who need time off work to care for dependents or family members with COVID-19 remain eligible for an unpaid leave of absence.

For more details, read the FAQ: COVID-19 leave for casual status employees.

For further support regarding WFM and timekeeping, please contact Questions regarding eligibility should be directed to your direct manager or

Code/leave type


  • Casual status – Paid General Leave
  • Under Leave Reason – Select the following options:
    • COVID - Paid Sick 


    • FT/PT Reg – General Paid LOA
    • Casual –  Email the BCEHS HR team at

    WFM timekeeping support


    The PHSA Early Absence Reporting Line (PEARL) now includes a COVID-19 option.

    Employees will hear all the existing PEARL options (Injury at Work, PEARL Illness, Pre-Planned, Other Unplanned Absence) as well as the new COVID-19 option.

    PEARL & manager notifications

    As a manager, you will receive a PEARL email notification notifying you of your employee’s absence. This is just for your information. 

    It does not mean that your employee has tested positive for COVID-19.
    If there is any further follow up required from you for employees who are off due to COVID-19 related symptoms, you will be notified. In the absence of this notification, there is no follow up required from you.

    When an employee tests positive for COVID-19, the Provincial Workplace Health or the PHSA Workplace Health team is notified and full contact-tracing is conducted. Managers are involved in the contact-tracing process. 

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