BC residents are being asked to provide input on the development of permanent paid sick leave to support workers and protect workplaces.
According to the province, there will be two phases of consultation.
The first phase will take place from now (Aug 7th), until September 14th, when residents can access surveys that 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.
“One of the most critical lessons from the pandemic was the importance of people staying home when they are sick, to contain the spread of an illness and keep workplaces productive,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour.
Then from September 20th until October 25th, the survey information will be used to provide options of various sick leave models, the options will then be posted and the province will welcome feedback on them.
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
“But many workers, especially those in lower-paying jobs without benefits, simply can’t afford to lose wages by missing work due to illness or personal injury. That’s why we are creating a permanent paid sick leave entitlement, and we want to hear from the people who will be most affected,” added Bains.