Advocacy group calls on B.C. government to provide permanent paid sick leave

Advocacy group calls on B.C. government to provide permanent paid sick leave
Members of the Retail Action Network rallied in Victoria Saturday to demand the province provide permanent paid sick leave to workers during and after the pandemic.

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Members and supporters with a labour advocacy group called Retail Action Network wearing lab coats and personal protective equipment took to the streets of downtown Victoria on Saturday.

It was all part of their quest for permanent paid sick leave in B.C.

According to the Retail Action Network (RAN), the province’s Employment Standards Act fails to provide retail and hospitality workers the protection they need amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this week the Federal Government announced a temporary income support program that will provide workers 10 days of paid sick leave related to COVID-19.

But RAN wants a permanent solution and is calling on the Horgan government to permanently legislate paid sick days.

“Right now, there’s a lot of people that are low wage earners or in precarious work positions that can’t take a paid sick day,” Anna Gerrard, a member of RAN, told CHEK.

“There’s no job protection because there’s fear of termination or retaliation which is not OK during the pandemic.”

RAN says with B.C. now into the third phase of its economic restart program, providing workers with paid sick days is necessary in order to protect workers and everyone during and beyond the pandemic.

The Retail Action Network is a labour rights advocacy group led by non-unionized retail and hospitality workers according to their website.

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