Starting today, June 17th, BC employers can apply for reimbursement of wages paid to workers who have taken sick leave related to COVID-19.
The amendments to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) require employers to pay sick workers their regular wages.
Employers can apply for reimbursement up to $200 per day to a maximum of three days.
Any employer whose workers are covered under the ESA but does not currently provide paid sick leave benefits to its employees will be eligible
The temporary reimbursement program is retroactive to May 20th.
WorkSafeBC is administering the program with funding from the government and it will be available to employers until Dec. 31st, 2021.
The reimbursement program is available to employers where workers need to stay home because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, are waiting for COVID-19 test results, need to self-isolate or self-monitor and/or have been directed to stay home by their employer due to exposure risks.
Once submitted, the process for the application and payment by electronic transfer can take up to 10 business days.
The province has also committed to establishing a permanent paid sick leave program, beginning January 1st, 2022.
A comprehensive consultation with stakeholders and the public will be announced shortly, according to the BC government.