VICTORIA, B.C. – A made-in-B.C. paid sick leave program will soon be supporting workers who need to stay at home when sick during the pandemic and afterwards.

The sick leave program will also include permanent paid sick leave.

This new program will require amendments to the Employment Standards Act, which will bring in three days of paid sick leave concerning COVID-19, including having symptoms, self-isolating, and waiting for a test result.

Employers will be required to pay employees their full wages, and the province will reimburse the employers without an existing sick leave program up to $200 per day for each worker.

With this new legislation, permanent sick leave for workers who cannot work due to any illness or injury will start on January 1st, 2022.

“We are stepping up to create permanent paid sick leave protection for British Columbians as part of our commitment to a better future for workers and workplaces,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “We will consult widely and base the long-term entitlement on what we hear, so it meets the needs of workers and supports healthy businesses.”

WorkSafeBC will be administering the employer reimbursements beginning next month.

Employers that have a high paid workforce but no paid sick leave will be required to cover any remaining wages owed above $200 for each COVID-19 sick day taken.