BC legislates 5 paid sick days

The BC Government has announced new workplace protection in the form of paid sick days for workers as of January 1, 2022. This new legislation will require employers to provide a minimum of 5 annual paid sick days to their staff.

This will apply to all workers covered by the Employment Standards Act, including part-time workers. If you are unsure how this will impact your business our team are here to help.

Covid-19 Leave Update

Workers in B.C. will be able to take three days of paid time off if they’re sick during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to new legislation.

Employer’s Responsibilities
As an employer, you are required to offer your staff 3 days of paid sick leave if they need to stay home because of COVID-19. This includes reasons such as:

  • Being diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Waiting for COVID-19 test results
  • Needing to self-isolate or self-monitor
  • Following a public health order
  • Directed to stay home by their employer due to exposure risks

You must also pay your employees their regular wages when they take this sick leave.

Employer Reimbursement
If your business does not have an existing sick leave program, the Province will reimburse you up to $200 a day per employee. Employers can apply for a reimbursement through WorkSafeBC. Important to note, the program is not a part of the workers’ compensation system. Meaning it will not impact WorkSafeBC’s employer premiums or its accident fund.

Family Responsibility Leave

Family responsibility is for the illness, injury, medical emergency, or other urgent matter relating to an immediate family member.

Bereavement Leave

Bereavement leave is for the death of an employee’s spouse, parent, grandparent, child, sibling, or relative who relied on the employee for assistance.

Notice of Leave

Employees must inform employers before starting sick, family responsibility, or bereavement leave or as soon as possible after starting it. However, they do not need to give notice in writing. They also do not lose their right to leave if they fail to provide notice.

Infectious Disease Leave

During this challenging time, many employers have had to deal with unprecedented sick leave requests due to Covid-19. Speak to our experts about making sure your procedures are up to date.

Required Evidence

Employers can ask employees who take leave for evidence, such as medical notes, under reasonable circumstances. This depends on the individual case.

HR business advice

Employers are responsible for ensuring you policies and documentation reflect the ESA changes. If you are unsure what this means for your business or have any other HR questions, speak to our HR experts today : 1-833-200-5103.