On November 24, 2021, the British Columbia government announced that, effective January 1, 2022, British Columbia employees who are covered by the Employment Standards Act and who have worked more than 90 consecutive days will be entitled to five paid days of personal illness or injury leave per year.

Employees who qualify for the paid leave must be paid an "average day's pay" per day of leave, which is equal to the amount paid or payable to an employee for work done during the 30 calendar day period preceding the leave (including vacation pay but not including overtime) divided by the number of days the employee worked or earned wages within that 30 calendar day period.

The announcement follows amendments made to the Employment Standards Act in May 2021 providing the government with authority to introduce paid sick days, as well as several months of consultations with stakeholder groups and the public. During those consultations, the government sought feedback on whether three, five, or ten paid sick days should be mandated.

The five paid sick days will replace the three days of paid COVID-19 sick leave currently provided by the Employment Standards Act, which leave entitlement is set to expire on December 31, 2021.

We will update this blog as further details on the new paid sick leave emerge.

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