British Columbians are invited to provide input into the development of made-in-B.C. permanent paid sick leave to support workers and protect workplaces.
In addition to outreach to key stakeholders and Indigenous partners, a public consultation process is now open and can be accessed through government’s engagement site.
There will be two phases of consultation:
- Phase 1 (Aug. 5 to Sept. 14) – surveys will gather information from employers and workers on the kinds of paid illness and injury leaves currently provided, and how they are meeting workers’ needs; and
- Phase 2 (Sept. 20 to Oct. 25) – informed by the surveys, options will be prepared for various paid sick leave models, including the numbers of paid days and other supports, and will be posted for public feedback and input.
In May 2021, amendments to the Employment Standards Act laid the groundwork for establishing minimum standards for a permanent paid sick leave entitlement. Following the public engagement process, paid sick leave will be established through a regulation, and come into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.
- The May 2021 amendments to the Employment Standards Act created a temporary COVID-19 paid sick leave program for up to three days of leave until Dec. 31, 2021. To support businesses struggling with the impacts of the pandemic, government is reimbursing employers up to $200 per day per worker, to help cover those wages.
- An estimated 50% of B.C. employees do not have access to paid sick leave. This means more than one million workers in B.C. will benefit from receiving these new paid sick leaves.
- Many vulnerable and low-wage workers – who are often women or migrant workers – lack benefits, so the ability to take paid leave will be especially beneficial to them.
To participate in the consultation process, visit: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/paidsickleave/
For more information on B.C.’s employment standards, visit: