The COVID-19 pandemic brought many changes to the workplace, including paid sick leave for provincially regulated employees. These paid sick leave entitlements have been introduced to encourage employees to stay home when they’re ill, in an effort to reduce and prevent disease transmission in the workplace. Shortly, federally regulated employees will be getting a boost to their paid sick day entitlements too.
What Employers Need to Know:
Provincial Sick Days (BC)
Since January 1, 2022, employees covered by the British Columbia Employment Standards Act have been entitled to 5 paid sick days per calendar year (Jan – Dec).
Key things to note about BC’s paid sick days:
New Federal Rules – December 1, 2022
Are you a federally regulated business with operations in BC? If so, the provisions of the Canada Labour Code and its regulations apply to your employees (not the BC Employment Standards Act), and new rules about paid sick time are coming into effect before the end of the year.
Starting December 1, 2022, all employees who are subject to the federal Canada Labour Code will be entitled to up to ten (10) days of paid medical leave. Federally regulated industries include international transportation (including road, marine, air, and rail), radio and television broadcasting, telecommunications, banking and certain activities of First Nations Bands.
Previously, federally regulated employees were entitled to only three (3) days of paid leave for personal illness or injury as well as other personal matters (such as carrying out responsibilities for the health or care of family members). The new medical leave will replace this personal leave as it applies to taking time for personal illness or injury.
The main rules and requirements for the federal paid medical leave are:
Key Take Aways
If you’re a provincially regulated business in BC, you’ve likely already made changes to your policies to comply with the BC sick day requirements. Federally regulated businesses might just be turning their minds to the upcoming federal changes.
In either case, employers should ensure they have updated the following:
This article only provides a summary about statutory entitlements to paid sick days. If you have any questions about implementing and navigating paid sick days or medical leave for your employees, or if you need legal advice on any workplace matter, please contact your Boughton lawyer, Leslie Whittaker of our employment group.