Annual Paid Sick Days for BC Workers

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Effective January 1, 2022, eligible BC employees who have worked for at least 90 days for their employer can take up to five paid days of paid leave for personal illness or injury. The five days do not have to be taken consecutively. Employers may make reasonable requests for “sufficient proof” of illness “as soon as practicable.”

These five paid days are in addition to the three days of unpaid sick leave already provided by BC’s Employment Standards Act (the “ESA”).

Full-time, part-time, and casual employees may be eligible for this benefit. Those employees who work in federal sectors, or are otherwise excluded from the ESA, are not eligible.

In our view, the provision of paid sick days for BC workers is long overdue. Providing paid sick leave will help prevent sick workers from showing up to work because they need the income, and prevent the spread of illness in the workplace – including COVID-19. For more information, please visit the Province of BC’s website.

BC workers who are in the federal jurisdiction, such as those who work in banks or telecommunications companies, can claim three paid sick days so long as they’ve worked for their employer for more than 30 days.

Paid sick days that federally regulated employees can claim will be increasing, too. Bill C-3, an Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Canada Labour Code, will replace some provisions in the Canada Labour Code so that employees will be eligible to claim a maximum of 10 paid sick days. Under these new rules, after 30 days of continuous employment, employees can claim three paid sick days; after 60 days completed employment, however, employees will basically earn the right to claim one additional paid sick day for each completed month of employment up to a maximum of 10 days. Bill C-3 has passed Royal Assent, but the government has not yet announced when these new provisions of Bill C-3 will come into force. For more details, you can read a copy of Bill C-3.

DISCLAIMER: The content of this article, and this website generally, is not intended as legal advice and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.  To provide legal advice on your problem, a lawyer must first understand your specific situation.

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