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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: July 15, 2020, 12:00 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

COVID-19 extraordinary pay ends for non-contract leaders has ended on July 5, 2020. If you have questions about previous hours submitted, email the Compensation and Classification team at
Vacation & Leaves

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

Vacation and other leaves

During the COVID-19 situation, rules around unused vacation or cancelling vacation have been changed.  

Unused 2019 vacation for non-contract staff

Given the emerging needs related to our response to COVID-19, we recognize that many employees will be unable to take vacation time before March 31, therefore: 

  • non-contract employees with unused 2019 vacation time will be allowed to carry-over up to75 hours to use before December 31, 2020. 
  • Employees with more than 75 hours will have those hours over 75 removed from their balances after March 31, 2020, unless an exception is submitted and approved by the VP, People Services.
  • Employees who returned from an extended leave of absence in 2020 will have until December 31 2020 to use their vacation hours.
  • Any unused 2019 vacation hours as of December 31, 2020 will be removed from balances and no vacation will be paid out.
Physicians at BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre as well as physicians, researchers and scientists at BC Cancer will continue to follow the language in their terms and conditions. 

If you have any questions regarding your vacation balance, please contact Workforce Central.

Scheduled vacation or other leaves

Facilities, Health Sciences and Community unionized staff: To complete your full vacation scheduling, submit your vacation request(s) by May 29, 2020 following your regular process. This includes all areas of PHSA whether you are part of the centralized or decentralized staffing services.

Nurses Bargaining Association staff: To complete your vacation scheduling, to a minimum outstanding of one week, submit your vacation request(s) by May 29, 2020 following your regular process. As per the collective agreement, any outstanding hours for the one week allowable hold back, must be submitted by August 1, 2020. This includes all areas of PHSA whether you are part of the centralized or decentralized staffing services.

Non-contract staff and physicians: As outlined in your terms and conditions and the vacation leave for excluded staff policy, you are expected to schedule and take your 2020 vacation by December 31, 2020.  

Any vacation, union leaves, banked overtime or other leaves scheduled after May 11, 2020 should be taken as scheduled and should not be cancelled unless both the employee and manager agree, based on operational considerations. 

Staff and managers should follow the normal processes for any changes/cancellations as per the appropriate collective agreement (contract) or terms and conditions of employment (non-contract).

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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