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Workers who lose jobs over COVID vaccine mandates will not be eligible for lockdown benefit

Benefit will provide $300 per week for people who cannot work due to government lockdowns
FILE – A woman wearing a face mask holds a sign while attending a rally and march organized by people opposed to COVID-19 vaccination passports and public health measures, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, September 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Employees who resign or are put on unpaid leave because they do not adhere to a workplace or industry vaccination mandate will not be eligible for the recently announced lockdown benefit.

The federal benefit is designed for individuals who cannot work because of government-imposed COVID-19 lockdown measures.

“Canada is still fighting the fourth wave of this pandemic and it is particularly virulent in some parts of the country,” the federal government website stated. “Individuals whose loss of income or employment is due to their refusal to adhere to a vaccine mandate would not be able to access the benefit.”

The lockdown benefit will be available at a rate of $300 per week and is available until May 7, 2022. The benefit replaces the Canada Recovery Benefit, which paid out $1,000 every two weeks for the first 42 weeks and $600 every two weeks for the remainder of the time the individual was receiving CRB (a maximum of 54 weeks).

The new benefit is available to both workers who do qualify for Employment Insurance and those who do not, as long as workers are not receiving EI and the lockdown benefit for the same weeks.

Vaccination mandates are in place for several industries, including all health-care workers in B.C. associated with a health authority, the B.C. public service, federal employees and staff working in federally regulated air, rail and marine transportation sectors.

READ MORE: Current COVID benefits to end Oct. 23, but new targeted aid will be available until May


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