As of January 1, 2022, almost all BC employers are legally required to provide a minimum of five days paid sick leave to employees.
All full-time, part-time, temporary and casual workers covered under the Employment Standards Act (ESA) are eligible as long as they have been employed for at least 90 days. Exceptions include those in federally regulated sectors, self-employed workers or independent contractors, unionized employees with collective agreements that meet or exceed the minimum established by the ESA, as well as those in certain professions (i.e. doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc.) not covered by the ESA. There is no requirement for employees to have worked a minimum amount of days or hours during the 90-day employment period in order to be eligible.
CALCULATING PAY OWED
Eligible employees are entitled to their regular wages, calculated by taking the total wages paid in the 30 calendar days prior to the first day of leave and dividing it by the number of days worked. Total wages include salary, commission, statutory holiday pay, vacation pay and paid sick days - overtime is excluded in the calculation.
PROOF OF ILLNESS
Employers may request "reasonably sufficient proof" of illness or injury, such as a sick note. The legislation provides for flexibility with proof as what is considered reasonable may differ depending on each situation. See this Government of BC webpage for further guidance.
BC is the first province to introduce a permanent paid sick leave program offering five days. Eligible employees are also entitled to three days of unpaid sick leave under the ESA.
Your CapriCMW Benefits team is here to help with short and long-term strategies around the structure of your employee benefits and retirement programs.