BC launches paid sick days starting in 2022

British Columbia will introduce a minimum of five paid sick days for all workers covered by the Employment Standards Act (ESA), beginning January 1, 2022.

BC is the first province to permanently legislate paid sick leave for workers, which applies to part-time and full-time employees. The ESA does not cover federally regulated sectors, self-employed workers and employees in occupations excluded from the ESA. More than one million workers in BC do not currently have paid sick leave, most of them in low-wage jobs.

The number of days was determined through public consultation with more than 60,000 people as well as information from employers that found that most workers take up to five sick days per year.

“Beginning in the new year, workers will no longer lose pay for making the responsible choice of taking a sick day,” says Premier John Horgan. “The pandemic has highlighted that when workers don’t have paid sick leave, it’s bad for them, it’s bad for their co-workers and it’s bad for their employers.”

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