Employer paid sick days additional burden in light of new restrictions: BC Liberals

Employer paid sick days additional burden in light of new restrictions: BC Liberals
Nicholas Pescod/CHEK News

Employer-paid sick days are coming into effect in B.C. next month and the BC Liberals are calling on the provincial government to cover the associated costs in light of the new COVID restrictions.

The B.C. government has implemented five-paid sick days per year, which will come into effect on January 1, 2022.

Yesterday, the provincial government implemented new restrictions for businesses in the province which closes some sectors and restricts others to operating at reduced capacity.

Shirley Bond, interim leader of the BC Liberals, said with these new restrictions the government should also look at covering the cost of the paid sick days during the pandemic.

“We certainly don’t want people choosing to go to work who are not feeling well,” Bond said. “The government should now step up and say that they will continue to fund those paid sick days for small businesses during the pandemic.”

Bond said her party supports both the public health measures and the paid sick days but wants to see more support from the government.

“Now with additional restrictions, they should also be providing support to cover those paid sick days, at least during the pandemic,” Bond said.

READ MORE: B.C. limits six people per table at restaurants, closes gyms as more COVID-19 restrictions roll out

Bruce Williams, president and CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, said he would like the government to pause employer-paid sick days for the moment.

“This Omicron thing came on in a pretty big hurry. [The government is] probably doing a great deal of due diligence right now to reach out to people and ask what they feel is the best option,” Williams said. 

“We are concerned whenever government passes costs on to business, especially when there are so many challenges with COVID restrictions, inflation and supply chains. No one expected us to be where we are right now so it makes sense for the province to push back its plan for employer-paid sick leave until we get through the next wave.”

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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