We have entered the final critical push to get paid sick leave in B.C.—during the pandemic and permanently.
The government is under tremendous pressure to introduce something, and we understand that they might be in the late stages of deciding on the exact format paid sick leave will take.
There is a serious risk the government will cave to aggressive employers and be too timid. But if COVID-19 has taught us anything, timid government policies don't work.
Paid sick leave in B.C. must be bold and follow the following parameters:
- 7 permanent paid sick days;
- 14 additional paid sick days during a pandemic or related public health emergency;
- Universality (i.e. it applies to all workers, regardless of status);
- Sick notes not required;
- Flexible (i.e. not just for short-term illness; more akin to "personal emergency" days);
- No administrative burden.
The BC NDP government knows this and knows what workers deserve, but pressure from business groups could block a fair paid sick leave policy.
Our voice must be louder!