Coronavirus (COVID-19): Paid Sick Leave Program

Nova Scotians who missed less than 50% of their scheduled work time in a 1-week period between 20 December 2021 and 7 May 2022 because of COVID-19 may qualify for up to 4 paid sick days. Businesses must apply for reimbursement for an employee’s pay within 30 days of the date the employee was paid. Self-employed workers must apply within 30 days of missing work.

Program overview

Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave program is available from 20 December 2021 to 7 May 2022 for individuals who can’t work remotely and miss less than 50% of their scheduled work time in a 1-week period because of COVID-19.

This includes taking time off because you’re:

  • self-isolating because of an exposure, close contact, or COVID-19 symptoms and are waiting to get a rapid or PCR test
  • getting a rapid or PCR test
  • self-isolating while waiting to get PCR test results
  • getting a vaccine or booster dose (time missed due to a reaction or symptoms from a vaccine or booster is not covered)

The program covers up to 4 eligible sick days taken between 20 December 2021 and 7 May 2022. The 4 sick days don’t need to be taken consecutively.

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

The program compensates wages and salaries (including vacation pay) for eligible employees and self-employed workers. It doesn’t cover other payroll expenses like Employment Insurance (EI) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions.

Employees who miss 50% or more of their scheduled work week should apply to the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit.

Calculation of sick days

Claims made under the previous program (which covered days missed between 10 May 2021 and 31 July 2021) don’t count toward the eligible days for this program.

The 4 sick days can be taken one at a time or consecutively, as long as the time missed is less than 50% of the scheduled work week.

Employees who have 4 or more paid sick days from their employer aren’t eligible, even if they’ve already used them.

Employees who have less than 4 paid sick days from their employer may be eligible to claim the difference between the sick days provided by their employer and the maximum available from this program. You need to use the sick days provided by your employer first. For example, if you miss 5 days over the course of 2 weeks and your employer provides 3 paid sick days, your employer could submit a claim for 1 day.

Eligibility

Employers can apply for reimbursement within 30 days of an employee’s sick days for the period of 20 December 2021 to 7 May 2022 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 Government of Nova Scotia (not in default of any financial obligations like 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 people 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 Government of Nova Scotia (not in default of any financial obligations like loan repayments, taxes, fines, fees and administrative and court orders)
  • aren’t eligible for or receiving other income support (like Business Interruption Insurance, Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit or any other income replacement or insurance programs)

Who isn’t eligible

Some employees, employers and self-employed workers are not eligible for this program.

Employees are not eligible if they:

  • have paid sick leave benefits of 4 days or more, even if they’ve already taken the entire benefit
  • are receiving benefits from other paid COVID-19 programs
  • have fewer than 4 days of paid sick leave benefit from their employer but haven’t used the entire benefit

Employers are not eligible if:

  • the business, shareholders, officers, directors or partners of the business aren’t in good standing with their financial obligations to the Government of Nova Scotia
  • the business isn’t currently operating
  • they are a federal, provincial or municipal government or crown corporation

Self-employed workers are not eligible if they are:

  • self-employed workers with commission-based earnings claiming for speculative income losses
  • self-employed workers who aren’t actively earning income from their business

How to apply

Employers and self-employed people can submit an application.

Applications must be received within 30 days of the date the employee was paid, or the time was missed by the self-employed worker.

Start now

Businesses

If you paid an employee for missed time because they were exposed to COVID-19, a close contact or had COVID-19 symptoms and were waiting to be tested (rapid test or PCR test), getting tested for COVID-19, waiting for test results, or getting a vaccine or booster, you can apply to the program for reimbursement.

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

Self-employed people

If you are self-employed, you need to apply within 30 days of missing work because you were exposed, a close contact or had COVID-19 symptoms and were waiting for a rapid or PCR test, getting tested, waiting for PCR test results, or getting a vaccine or booster.

You’ll receive a T4A from the Canada Revenue Agency for the amount you receive.

How long it takes

It should take 5 business days for eligible claims to be paid.

Verification process

You don’t need a doctor’s note when you apply.

Employers are required to provide employee pay information, employee schedules and attendance documentation.

Self-employed workers are required to provide a 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 audit applications. If there's any indication that the information you provided was misstated, you need to pay back the money you received.

Contact

For questions about applications and eligibility please email info@pslcovid.ca or call 902-896-7293.