November 24, 2021

Dear ABLE BC members and industry colleagues,

Today, the provincial government announced paid sick leave will be standard for workers in British Columbia beginning January 1, 2022, with a minimum of five paid sick days each year.

BC becomes the first province in Canada to legislate this level of paid time off for workers who fall ill. This new workplace protection applies to all workers covered by the Employment Standards Act, including part-time workers.

The Province consulted with workers and employers around B.C. to find out what currently exists in the way of paid sick leave and to gather feedback on three options – three, five or 10 days of paid sick leave – to come into effect in the new year. More than 60,000 people participated in the engagement.

Feedback from the workplaces that already provide paid sick leave found that most workers take between zero and five days of sick leave each year.

Throughout the consultation process, ABLE BC advocated strongly that now is not the right time to add costs to BC’s struggling hospitality and liquor businesses.

While we are disappointed that government is increasing payroll costs while industry is still recovering from COVID-19 losses, we do recognize that many hospitality workers have been seeking paid sick leave and the flexibility to stay home from work when they’re sick.

Paid Sick Leave Details

  • Effective January 1, 2022, you are required to provide your eligible employees with up to five days of paid sick leave per year if they need to stay home because they are sick or injured.
  • The paid sick leave entitlement applies to all employees covered by the Employment Standards Act (ESA), including part-time, temporary or casual employees.
  • You need to pay your employees their regular wages for these days. They do not have to be taken consecutively.
  • Employees must have been employed for at least 90 days
  • Employers may ask for reasonable proof of sickness (i.e. a doctor’s note)
  • Employees are also entitled to 3 days of unpaid sick leave.

For more information please click here. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact ABLE BC:

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