Retroactive to April 19th, BC announced that residents will soon have access to a made-in-BC paid sick leave program.
The permanent paid sick leave is a result of legislation tabled on Tuesday, May 11th.
According to the province, an estimated 50 percent of BC employees do not currently have access to paid sick leave.
Now, employers will be required to pay workers their workers full wages for three days if they are having COVID-19 symptoms, are self-isolating, or are waiting for a test result.
The province will reimburse employers without an existing sick leave program of up to $200/ per day.
The legislation will also create a permanent paid sick leave for workers who cannot work due to any illness or injury beginning January 1st, 2022.
BC’s paid sick leave will bridge the gap to the federal program for workers between when they first feel sick and when they can access the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit.
BC’s COVID-19 paid sick leave will continue to protect workers until the end of the year.
WorkSafeBC will begin administering the employer reimbursement program on behalf of the province beginning next month.
For the small percentage of employers that have a highly paid workforce, but do not already have paid sick leave, those employers will be required to cover any remaining wages owed above $200 for each COVID-19 sick day taken.
“The best way to protect workers, their families and co-workers during this pandemic is to have a paid sick leave program in place,” said Premier John Horgan.
“Our made-in-B.C. program will help cover the costs for hard-hit businesses so we can all get through this pandemic together and move to a strong economic recovery.”