Five paid sick days coming Jan. 1 (

Media Contacts

Lindsay Byers

Press Secretary
Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier

Ministry of Labour

Media Relations
250 213-8637


Permanent paid sick leave public engagement process

Following the amendments to the Employment Standards Act that laid the groundwork to establish B.C.’s first permanent paid sick leave, a comprehensive public engagement process was undertaken to determine the minimum number of days of sick leave employees will be entitled to.

More than 60,000 responses were received during the public consultation that ran from early August until late October.

In the first phase of consultations, more than 26,000 workers and businesses completed surveys on the current arrangements for paid sick leave, and what is needed.

Highlights from the Phase 1 survey responses:

  • Many employees without access to paid sick leave reported regularly going to work sick or returning to work before fully recovering.
  • Employers and employees both reported concerns about employees coming to work sick and infecting others.
  • Approximately 60% of employers do not offer employer-paid sick leave to any of their employees.
  • Of the employers that offer paid sick leave to their employees:
    • Nearly 45% provide three to five days a year
    • About 25% provide six to 10 days
    • About 20% provide more than 10 days
    • Nearly 10% provide less than three days
  • Of those who have access to employer-paid sick leave, about 70% indicated they typically do not use all of the paid sick days they get each year.

In the second phase, informed by the surveys, three options were developed for the minimum entitlement: three, five or 10 days: 33,975 workers and businesses provided feedback.

Highlights from the Phase 2 options responses:

  • Support for the three options – either strongly favoured or somewhat favoured:
    • Option 1 (three days) – 64% of workers; 44% of employers
    • Option 2 (five days) – 75% of workers; 28% of employers
    • Option 3 (10 days) – 81% of workers; 19% of employers