BC-Paid Sick Leave to Come into Effect
Updated: Dec 8, 2021
As previously announced, the BC government made amendments to the ESA and deliberated on a permanent sick leave provision. Effective January 1, 2022 the paid sick leave will be in effect.
The new provision provides for 5 paid sick leave days per year for employees that have been employed for 90 days or more. This also includes part time workers.
This leave will also replace the temporary 3 days of paid sick leave that employees are currently entitled to, but be in addition to the 3 days of unpaid sick leave. Here are a few FAQ's to consider:
1) If you currently offer less than 5 days of PAID sick time, you will need to increase your sick time allotment.
2) Generally, sick leave provisions do not carry over and are not a financial benefit, so no payout or requirement to take the days is likely. Paid sick days are intended to ensure that staff make responsible health decisions without the fear of lost income, not to be used as a "piggy bank" or bonus time off.
3) If you currently exceed the minimum paid sick leave requirement for your staff, be cautious before implementing any changes, as you could be making a significant change to the terms of employment.
4) The province selected this level of leave based on the survey responses received during the phase 1 consultation. There were 33,975 business and worker responses.
5) Although this announcement comes at a time when the industry is "tightening their belts" due to inventory concerns, in the long term there could actually be benefits to the employer through reduced absences due to contagions, better protections against workplace infections and an increase in actual productivity when staff are in attendance.
6) The leave provision should generally run based on a calendar year and will also pertain to part time employees.
If you have any questions on how this change will impact your dealership, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are an existing client who needs to have updates made to your environment please contact email@example.com.