Surrey Board of Trade Says Paid Sick Days in BC is an Economic Imperative

Today, the BC Government announced their intention to permanently implement 5 paid sick days, which will start January 1, 2022. The Surrey Board of Trade, in what will be BC’s largest city soon, is one of the top 10 largest chambers of commerce/boards of trade, of the 450 in Canada. We support 5 paid sick days because too many Canadians are going to work sick. Why? Because they have no other choice.

“Implementing 5 paid sick days is an economic imperative,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “Your workforce is your most important asset. Let’s take care of them so that we can focus together on increasing the bottom line for businesses. Data shows that businesses with paid sick days reap the benefits of a healthy and productive workforce, without incurring increased costs.”

“The Surrey Board of Trade will continue to advocate to the BC Government for a comprehensive review and reform of BC’s taxes that continue to erode bottom line productivity and create administrative burden, impacting the competitive edge for businesses to compete nationally and globally.”

Many Surrey residents work in warehouses, manufacturing facilities, retail, and construction that form the region’s economic backbone. These workplaces can become sites for the mass spread of viruses unless all the right precautions are taken. Many employees don’t have access to paid sick leave. If they take a couple of days off to get a test, isolate while awaiting the result, and recuperate, they lose their paycheque. Their choice is stark: go to work while sick to collect a vital paycheque or stay home and lose money. That’s why many people in Surrey – and no doubt across Canada – are going to work when they’re sick.

“It is true that some firms already pay sick leave, but a large portion of businesses don’t currently. Giving paid sick leave prevents virus spread within a company and shows good will to employees. Three days is probably too few – that is why the Surrey Board of Trade supports 5 days of guaranteed paid sick leave as mandated by the BC Government. Businesses can also decide to offer additional days of paid sick leave if they are able to. Providing sick days increases productivity as well as morale and loyalty. It is a win-win for workers and employers. We have to think differently moving into the future to benefit our workforce and our businesses together.”

The BC Government consulted with workers and employers to find out what currently exists around the world on paid sick leave legislation and support to business to determine one of three options as the path forward: 3, 5, or 10 days of paid sick leave. More than 60,000 people participated in the engagement.



Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342,