Today, Labour Minister Harry Bains tabled legislation that would provide workers with a paid sick leave program that will support them to stay home when they are sick during and after the pandemic, including permanent paid sick leave. The legislation is brought through an amendment to the Employment Standards Act.
“The Surrey Board of Trade is pleased with this tabled legislation, which will provide much needed support for businesses that have been the hardest hit as a result of shutdowns and economic downturn,” said Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade. “Businesses in the hardest hit industries will finally get the support that they need. Paid sick leave is about reducing transmission and getting on the other side of this pandemic.””
Highlights of the amendments include:
- Three days of paid sick leave related to COVID-19, such as having symptoms, self-isolating and waiting for test results
- Employers will be required to pay workers their full wages
- The Province will reimburse employers without an existing sick leave program up to $200 per day for each worker
- The short-term paid sick leave related to COVID-19 will bridge the gap for workers between when they first feel sick and when they can access the Federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
- BC’s COVID-19 paid sick leave will continue to protect workers to December 31, 2021
“We must ensure that the process for businesses to receive financial support is not administratively burdensome and we want businesses to receive reimbursement in a timely way. Some businesses are in such a precarious position that if a business must wait for weeks or months until they receive the reimbursement, they are at risk of shutting down before receiving the payment.”
Consultations on permanent paid sick leave protection will be occurring next month through the Ministry of Labour.
Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342, firstname.lastname@example.org