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B.C. looks for input on paid sick leave legislation

‘We are thrilled to see the government move in this direction,’ Together Against Poverty Society said
Labour Minister Harry Bains arrives at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, June 26, 2017. (Chad Hipolito/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Whether or not you’re happy with your current paid sick leave policies at work, B.C. wants to hear from you.

Starting Thursday (Aug. 5) and running until Sept. 14, public surveys are available for both B.C. workers and employers.

Following the surveys between Sept. 20 and Oct. 25, options will be prepared and made available for public feedback on various paid sick leave models, which include the number of paid sick days among other supports.

Labour Minister Harry Bains said the COVID-19 pandemic taught a critical lesson around staying home when sick in order to prevent the spread of illnesses and to keep workplaces productive.

Amendments to the Employment Standard Act in May paved the way for providing minimum paid sick leave entitlement in B.C., and following the public engagement and feedback process, paid sick leave is set to be established through a regulation on Jan. 1, 2022.

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“We are thrilled to see the government move in this direction.” Together Against Poverty Society’s Executive Director Doug King said on Thursday and asked that all workers in B.C. take a few minutes to complete the survey and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard.

It’s estimated that around half of British Columbians do not have access to paid sick leave, and that vulnerable and low-wage workers are disproportionately affected.