A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)

B.C. workers now eligible for 3 days paid sick leave for COVID-19

The province says it plans the bridge the pandemic legislation into a permanent sick leave program for ‘any illness or injury’

In addition to up to three paid hours for workers to get vaccinated, B.C. is now providing three days of sick leave if they become ill from COVID-19.

New sick leave legislation was announced Friday (May 21) by Minister of Labour Harry Bains. It went into effect Thursday.

Now, if an employee is sick with COVID-19 or has been ordered to self-isolate while waiting for a test result, they will be granted up to three days of paid time off.

“We’re also supporting employers with a reimbursement program of up to $200 per day for each worker who is eligible for paid sick leave,” Bains said.

WorkSafeBC, administering the provincial program, will retroactively reimburse employers for wages paid as early as May 20.

Once launched, applications for the program will be open until Dec. 31.

READ ALSO: Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of 2021 provincial budget

Bains said the province will bridge the COVID-19 sick leave program into paid support for employees with “any illness or injury.”

This includes B.C.’s approximately one million workers, many of whom are women or migrants in labour-intensive jobs.

The permanent sick leave strategy will go into effect on Jan. 1.

“No worker should have to choose between going to work sick or losing pay to stay home,” Bains said. “We will find the balance that works for everyone.”

“To protect and support both employers and workers, following a consultation process that will begin over the summer months.”

READ MORE: B.C. workers now eligible for 3 hours of paid leave to get COVID-19 immunization



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

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