Following the announcement a couple of months back, BC has taken the first concrete steps to implement permanent paid sick leave for employees. Earlier today, BC Premier John Horgan opened up a couple of surveys to get the ball rolling. Here’s what to know.
Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic really highlighted the need for paid sick leave not just in BC, but across the country. Not only would coming to work sick be a bummer, like normal, but it also represented a serious risk to coworkers and the general public. As a result, a fair number of provincial governments mandated temporary sick leave laws, including BC.
We’re creating a permanent paid sick leave program for all BC workers – because no one should have to choose between going to work sick or losing pay.
— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) August 5, 2021
But, BC is the only one trying to make it permanent so far. Back in May of this year, BC became the first province in Canada to commit to legally requiring paid sick leave for employees. While many salaried or unionized employees earn paid sick leave from their employers, a 2020 survey found that over half of all employees in BC do not.
So, the government wants to change that, and they’re starting with a couple of surveys! Earlier today, two became available for BC residents- one for employees and one for employers. These surveys include questions like how many sick days employees take a year, if employers offer sick leave already, and so on…
Following these surveys, the government will get to work drafting a plan for paid sick leave, and then there will be another round of comments. But, they’re targeting January 2022 to bring it into law, which ain’t so bad on the whole government bureaucracy front.
We just can’t wait to see it happen!