Advocacy | British Columbia | Coronavirus | Human Resources

B.C. legislation providing employer-paid sick leave now in effect

May 11, 2021

Amendments to the Employment Standards Act introduced on May 11 have now received Royal Assent and are in effect immediately as of May 20, 2021.

The first amendment provides 3 employer-paid sick days for workers taking COVID-19-related leave as defined under section 52.12 of the Employment Standards Act until December 31, 2021.

The 3 employer-paid sick days for COVID-19-related leave in 2021 applies to persons: who have been diagnosed with COVID-19; are in quarantine or self-isolation under public health instruction (for example, awaiting test results); are on leave from their employer due to employer’s concern about exposure to others; are providing care to another eligible person; or, are outside of the province and cannot travel back.

It is important to note that these paid sick days are related to COVID-19, and, if the employee has already used up their existing sick leave entitlement they could be eligible for this new paid leave.  The government has said they will create a program whereby WorkSafeBC will reimburse employers to a maximum of $200 per worker per day for this sick leave, where an employer does not have an existing paid sick leave plan.  RCC has written government to ask that employers are made ‘whole’ for this new and unplanned 2021 expense through the government’s reimbursement program.

The second amendment provides employer-paid sick days for all illnesses for all workers (after 90 days of employment) beginning January 1, 2022). The number of paid sick days will be defined by regulation. Neighbouring Washington state legislates five employer-paid sick days for full and part-time employees. The government says that they will consult employer and business associations regarding the amount of paid sick leave entitlement effective January 1, 2022. RCC would take part in such a consultation.

There is a formula within both parts of the legislation for application of the paid sick leave to employees who have not worked full-time during the past 30 days.

Pour en savoir plus, veuillez communiquer avec :

Greg Wilson
Directeur, Relations gouvernementales (C.-B.)
gwilson@retailcouncil.org
604 736-0368


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