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What is an Employer Required to Offer for Sick Leave?

Employment Law | February 25, 2021

According to the Employment Standards Act, BC businesses are required to offer a variety of types of job-protected leaves of absence. Some of these are required to be paid leaves, while others are simply set amounts of time that an employee can be away from work without needing to worry about their job being in jeopardy. One type of job-protected leave is sickness or injury leave. Whether you are an employer or an employee, it is important to know what kind of sick leave workers can expect in the province of BC. As experienced employment lawyers, the team at Linley Welwood can help.

Learn more about the different types of job-protected leaves.

Are Employees Entitled to Sick Leave in BC?

In British Columbia, all employees are entitled to receive a minimum of 3 days off per year for personal illness or injury. To qualify, an employee must be employed for 90 calendar days. This time is not required to be paid, but many employers offer paid sick leave as part of their employment contracts. Many employers also offer more time off for sickness or injury, during which an employee does not need to worry about losing their job. It is important to note that, if an employee sustains an injury while conducting their job-related duties, the amount of time that they are entitled to will vary greatly and be dictated by workers’ compensation.

Can an Employer Ask for a Doctor’s Note?

Although many employers operate on trust when it comes to personal injury and illness leave, it is common for an employer to request more information or proof regarding an employee’s health before the leave. While a doctor’s note can offer proof that an employee is sick, it can also be an extra hurdle for an employee to jump through when their time would be better spent recovering, so it is important for employers to consider the value of proof of injury. When an employee only needs a day or so, it is best for an employer to not exercise this right.

If you would like to find out more information about what an employer is required to offer for sick leave in British Columbia, or to learn about the services that we provide at Linley Welwood, please contact our team of employment lawyers so we can answer your questions.


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