Unvaccinated mothers facing up to $50,000 in maternity leave repayment to BC Government

Prince George Now: Mothers on maternity leave who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 working in the BC Public Service are not only at risk of losing their jobs but repaying the entirety of their maternity leave top-up benefit as well.

Their stories all share similar key points:

▪ For these women, maternity leave started before October 2021, and before provincial vaccine mandates were announced for BC Public Service workers.

▪ They all decided to accept the government’s top-up benefit, which pays about 80% of the usual salary in a given position, expecting to go back to their job on their pre-determined return to work date. This is agreed to with the knowledge that if you quit, find another job, or otherwise miss your return to work date, you will be liable to pay back that amount. This return to work date cannot be postponed.

▪ The province instituted its vaccination policy for employees on November 8th, 2021, requiring employees to be vaccinated in order to be hired, or continue to work.

▪ If a mother on maternity leave is unvaccinated and is denied an exemption, they are in a position to miss their return to work date and be liable to have to pay back the entirety of the top-up benefit, from $20,000 all the way up to $50,000 in some cases. Or, they can prove vaccination and return to work without a problem. Read more

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