A new leave program to support workers in staying home when they are sick during the pandemic and beyond is on the way after legislation was tabled this morning.
According to the provincial government, amendments to the Employment Standards Act will bring three days of COVID-19-related paid sick leave. In order to give paid time off to employees showing symptoms, self-isolating, and or waiting for a test result.
The new WorkSafeBC program will be required employers to pay workers their full wages, and the Province will reimburse employers without an existing sick leave program up to $200 per day for each worker to cover costs.
“The best way to protect workers, their families, and co-workers during this pandemic is to have a paid sick leave program in place,” said BC Premier John Horgan.
The legislation will also create a permanent paid sick leave for those who cannot work due to any illness or injury, starting on January 1, 2022. The number of paid sick days and other supports will be determined following consultations with the business community, labour organizations, Indigenous partners and other stakeholders.
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Beginning next month, WorkSafeBC will manage the employer reimbursement program on behalf of the Province.
Employers with highly paid workforces that do not already have paid sick leave will be required to cover any remaining wages owed above $200 for each COVID-19 sick day taken.