Childcare options during COVID-19

Publish date: Monday, April 20, 2020

GLP - Government Licensed Professionals

Dear GLP Members,

The intention of this email is to clarify the options available to GLP members who are working remotely while also caring for children at home during COVID-19.

Doing double-duty roles at home is challenging; however, it ensures parents continue to receive their full pay and still provide professional services. During this pandemic, members are permitted to work from home and get paid while taking care of children. In rare circumstances and with the approval of the ADM, an employee may be denied working from home.

In support of working parents, GLP supervisors have been directed by the Public Service Agency to be flexible in regards to hours of work and scheduling. They have also been told to adjust productivity expectations to acknowledge competing demands of childcare responsibilities and work commitments.

The reason for these directives is to ensure that our GLP members feel supported during these challenging times and are able to continue the work the employer and public both rely on. Labour shortages were an issue before COVID-19 and it is not in anyone’s interest to lay off professionals during this pandemic, or at any other time.

However, for some working parents, this situation is very difficult. Members are able to consider the following options, should they feel a different approach would work better for their family circumstances.

  1. Connect with your Labour Relations Officer from the PEA and your supervisor to discuss your situation. AskMyHR is also available as a resource.
  2. Childcare for essential service professionals - the government has directed child care providers and schools to provide care and/or in-class instruction for children and prioritize placements for those children whose parents are deemed essential services. Some PEA members fall into these categories and may be able to apply to access childcare.
  3. Temporary unpaid job-protected leave – The Employment Standards Act has introduced a temporary COVID-19 unpaid leave of absence. The Act sets out that an employee can take unpaid, job-protected leave related to COVID-19 if they're unable to work for a number of reasons including the need to provide care to their minor child or a dependent adult who is their child or former foster child for a reason related to COVID-19, including a school, daycare or similar facility closure.

    Engineers, foresters, geoscientists and veterinarians are exempt from the Employment Standard Act and the provisions therein but the BCPSA has agreed that this unpaid leave option will be available to all professionals during COVID-19, including pension buyback.

    You are not required to take unpaid, job-protected leave; however, it is available to those members who feel it is the best option for their situation. For more detailed information about this leave please click here.

The PEA has asked the employer to consider a “top-up” or Supplemental Unemployment Benefit plan for members who take unpaid leave. This could act as a parental leave top-up in the collective agreement. At this time, the employer has not agreed to this. If you have other suggestions for how the union can be advocating for parents, please let us know.

These options have changed quickly in response to the pandemic. We will try to keep you updated as best as we can. If you experience difficulties in getting the supports you need or you have an experience you would like to share please contact the union. It’s always good to hear from you.

Take good care,

Melissa Moroz
Labour Relations Officer

In this section

The PEA was formed in 1974, by a group of professionals working in the public sector. The story goes that the founders of the union mortgaged their houses to fund negotiations of the union’s first collective agreement. 

Now, the PEA is BC’s union for professionals. We represent a wide range of professionals including lawyers, foresters, engineers, agrologists, teachers, veterinarians, fundraisers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, psychologists program managers, librarians and more.

Our union is led by the PEA Executive. They represent members from across the chapters of the PEA and set the overall vision and direction for our union.

Resources for our members

Navigating a union can sometime be a challenging process. Under this section of the website you will find resources to help you navigate the PEA. In the members section you'll find expense claim reimbursements, information on the PEA's scholarship and bursary program and our grants and donations program.

Collective bargaining and job action resources explain the process of collective bargaining and what to do in the unlikely event of job action. 

Local reps can also find resources to help them complete their job more effectively. This includes ways to welcome new members, how to take notes in investigation disciplinary meetings and more.

The heart of our union

The PEA is made up of nine chapters, or groups of members who either work for the same employer or are in the same field of work. Each chapter has an elected executive tasked with running the affairs of the chapter. Each chapter is entitled to representation at the PEA Executive, the governing body of the union. 

Our members work for a range of employers: the Province of BC, the University of Victoria, St. Margaret's School, the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program, the Oil and Gas Commission, the Law Society of BC, Legal Services Society, the Okangan Regional Library and health authorities across BC.

Professionals need unions now more then ever

Since the 1970’s, when the PEA was formed, our mission has been to ensure our members can work in safe, productive environments and receive fair and reasonable wages and benefits for the valuable work they do. We help individuals and groups of professional workers to understand the challenges they face in their workplaces and some of the solutions available to them. 

We work with potential members to become certified as a union and achieve the wages, benefits and respect they deserve. 

The Professional | Volume 48 Issue 1

The Professional is the PEA's award-winning, quarterly magazine for members.

The Spring 2022 issue takes a deep dive into the work of GLP members and their work during provincial emergencies.

Read the latest issue



The PEA was formed in 1974 to represent licensed professionals in the BC Public Service. Since then the organization has grown to include a wide range of professionals from across BC. Find our more about our governance, staff and strategic direction.

Members Login

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
3 + 7 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.