BC Government Announces Paid Sick Leave for COVID Absences

On May 11, 2021, the BC Government announced that it plans to provide up to three days of paid sick leave to workers forced to miss work due to COVID-19. Employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19, who need time off to self-isolate and those who are awaiting a COVID-19 test result, will all qualify for paid leave. This program will include both part-time and full-time workers.

For employers, this means that workers who qualify will need to be paid their full wages for up to three days. Beginning this June, WorkSafeBC will reimburse employers that lack an existing sick-leave program on behalf of the BC Government. Employers will be reimbursed up to $200 per day for each absent worker.

This paid sick leave program will remain in effect from the date the legislation is passed until December 31, 2021.

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COVID-19 continues to have a serious impact on both employees and employers, and we realize that changes to government programs and legislation can be difficult to keep up with. If you have any questions or would like advice about COVID-19 and how it affects your business, employees or employment, please contact Ryley Mennie, Lou Poskitt, or Connor Levy from our Workplace Law Group.