New Sick Leave in BC – What You Need to Know

Employment Law | February 22, 2022

Sick leave is a vital provision for BC employees as it allows them to stay home when they are ill, eliminating the choice between going to work sick or losing wages. Whether you are an employer or an employee, it is important to understand the details of sick leave in BC to ensure compliance with entitlement requirements and other elements. On November 24, 2021, the British Columbia government announced that employees will be entitled to 5 employer-paid sick days per year as of January 1, 2022. As experts in employment law, the team at Linley Welwood knows how important it is for employers and employees to understand this change. That is why our employment lawyers have outlined what you need to know about sick leave in BC to ensure that all parties understand what they are entitled to.

Learn about the different types of unexpected time off.

Common Questions Regarding Sick Leave in BC

The answers to the following questions will help workers and employers understand every element of the new paid sick leave policy in BC:

Which Employees are Eligible for Sick Leave?

Paid sick leave applies to all employees covered by the Employment Standards Act. This includes part-time, temporary, and casual employees. An employee must have been with the employer for at least 90 days to be eligible for this leave.

What are the different types of job protected leave?

How Much are Employees Paid During This Leave?

Employers must pay their employees their regular wages for any sick days taken. To calculate an average day’s pay, use the formula below:

Total wages ÷ number of days worked = average day’s pay

Do Sick Days Need to be Taken Consecutively?

Sick days do not need to be taken consecutively. Employees are entitled to 5 paid days total over the course of the year in addition to 3 unpaid days.

Are Sick Days Paid Out if They are not Taken?

Unlike unused vacation days, unused sick days are not paid out. This is true regardless of whether employment is ended by the employer or the employee.

What are the laws regarding temporary layoffs?

Is Funding Available for Employers to Offset This Extra Cost?

No. The BC government is not currently planning to provide financial aid to employers to offset the extra cost incurred by these additional paid sick days.

To learn more about sick leave in BC or to inquire about our employment law services, contact the team at Linley Welwood. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our employment law services or our other areas of expertise.

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