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Nearly one million workers to benefit from new paid sick leave program in BC

Workers in BC will soon have access to a paid sick leave program supporting those to stay home during the pandemic and afterward.

This includes permanent paid sick leave, as a result of legislation tabled today (Tuesday) by the provincial government.

Amendments to the Employment Standards Act will bring in three days of paid sick leave related to COVID-19, such as having symptoms, self-isolating, and waiting for a test result.

Employers will be required to pay workers their full wages and the Province will reimburse employers without an existing sick leave program up to $200 per day for each worker to cover costs.

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“The best way to protect workers, their families, and co-workers during this pandemic are 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.”

The legislation will also create a permanent paid sick leave for workers who cannot work due to any illness or injury starting January 1st of 2022.

“We are stepping up to create permanent paid sick leave protection for British Columbians as part of our commitment to a better future for workers and workplaces,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “We will consult widely and base the long-term entitlement on what we hear, so it meets the needs of workers and supports healthy businesses.”

“Since the outset of this pandemic, B.C. has led the way in supporting workers and making sure they don’t go to work when they’re sick,” added Bains.

According to the province, an estimated 50% of B.C. employees do not currently have access to paid sick leave. This means upwards of one million workers in B.C. will benefit from receiving these new paid sick leaves.

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