As of November 24, 2021 British Columbia Government announced that employees who work within British Columbia are entitled to receive up to five sick days within any twelve months of employment.
Here is the Q&A on this benefit program which the employer solely funds.
How is B.C. Sick Pay Calculated? To calculate the B.C. sick pay, our office would need to know the total wages, along with the number of days worked within the 30 days before the sick day was reported.
Which employees are eligible? B.C. Sick pay is available for both full-time and part-time employees based on the calculated gross wages divided by the number of days worked within the previous thirty days.
Do the B.C. Sick Days need to be taken together? The B.C. Sick days can be taken either together or separately.
What about Employee's who have not worked a year yet? Even if the employee is newly employed, they are entitled to the five B.C. sick days even if they have not reached their first twelve months of employment.
What about Seasonal employees? The B.C. Sick Pay leglislation applies to all employee's, including seasonal employees.
Are the B.C. Sick Days rolled over from year to year? B.C. Sick days can not be rolled over for use in later years.
Are unused B.C. Sick Days paid out? If the employee does not use the five B.C. sick days, they are not eligible to be paid out for these B.C. sick days.
What about Proof of Employee Sickness? The employer is permitted to ask for and receive sufficient and reasonable proof that the employee took the B.C. sick days for illness. The legislation is designed to be flexible. Perhaps a doctor's note, emergency room wristband, signed note, or pharmacy prescription note.
What is defined as an eligible Sickness? This is left up to the employee's doctor or attendance to a medical clinic or emergency room (note above).
What about Mental Health Days? If the employee requests a mental health day, this is not considered a B.C. qualified sick day as a mental health day is considered a “rest day.” The exception to this will be if the employee's doctor provides a signed note.
What about COVID-related Illness or Testing? How does this program work with the Federal three paid sick days for COVID19 related illnesses?
Who handles disputes on B.C. Sick Pay? The BC Government Employment Standards branch on a case by case basis.
What deduction applies to B.C. Sick Pay? B.C. sick pay is calculated as gross wages and is subject to Canada Pension, Employment Insurance premiums, and Provincial and Federal Income Tax deductions.
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Please note that the above has been provided general employer-employee information and does not constitute specific client information. We strongly suggest that you seek individual professional advice for your employment-related questions.