Updated guidance on the use of “Time off for personal medical and dental appointments” (leave code 698) for the purposes of vaccination

Date: November 9, 2023

To: Heads of Human Resources, Directors or Chiefs of Labour Relations, Compensation, and the Public Service Pay Centre

This information notice provides updated guidance to organizations in the core public administration on the use of paid time off for routine personal medical and dental appointments in accordance with the Directive on Leave and Special Working Arrangements.

Guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with the Employer’s direction, employees had to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. They were expected to schedule their appointments to get the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters outside of work hours, whenever possible. When this was not possible, employees could, on a temporary and exceptional basis, take up to half a day of paid leave (“Time off for personal medical and dental appointments” [leave code 698]) during their work hours to get these vaccines or boosters.

Guidance effective immediately

Employees who want to get vaccines that are not a condition of employment (for example, COVID-19 and influenza vaccines), are expected to schedule appointments for getting these vaccines outside of their work hours or to request leave in accordance with their collective agreement or their terms and conditions of employment.

Employees who experience side effects that prevent them from working after getting a vaccination must request sick leave, in accordance with their collective agreement or their terms and conditions of employment.

Leave code 698 continues to apply in cases where employees receive vaccines during a routine medical appointment.
As a reminder, the guidance regarding routine or periodic appointments provided in the Human Resources Information Notice dated February 14, 2012, continues to apply.

Any questions regarding the above must be directed to your organization’s designated Corporate Labour Relations or Corporate Compensation representatives.

Original signed by 

Wendy Braithwaite 
Director, Compensation Policy, Interpretations, and Pay Administration 
Employee Relations and Total Compensation 
Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer

Page details

Date modified: