Workers to benefit from five paid sick days beginning 1st January

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The B.C. government announced Thursday that eligible employees will be entitled to a minimum of five paid sick days each year beginning 1st of January 2022.

Harry Bains, Minister of Labour, said “Until now, about half of B.C. workers have been unable to stay home when sick without losing wages.”

Bains further added “Many of those are lower-paid workers who can least afford to lose the money and, as a result, end up going to work sick. Paid sick leave is the right thing to do, and it is now in British Columbia permanently.”

The employees will be entitled to five paid sick days if they have at the organization for at least 90 days.

“Paid sick leave is good for workers, good for employers and good for our economy,” Bains said, adding that “This is a significant milestone for our province, and I’m proud that we are supporting workers and employers in this important way. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Before Jan. 1, 2022, more than one million workers in B.C. did not have access to paid sick leave; mostly those in low-wage jobs who are often women or racialized workers, according to B.C. government.

The paid sick leave protection will apply to all workers covered by the Employment Standards Act, including part-time employees. The act does not cover federally regulated sectors, self-employed workers, and employees in professions and occupations explicitly excluded from the act.

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