Paid Sick Days for All!
Thanks to our collective organizing efforts, things have progressed since the launch of our petition!
Now, with 5 permanent paid sick days implemented in January 2022, and 3 COVID-related and temporary sick days implemented in May 2021, here’s what workers are calling for:
• 3 paid sick days guaranteed each year without eligibility restrictions
• 7 additional paid sick days to be accrued over time, equating to 10 days per year
• +10 days added during a pandemic or public health emergency
Join the Employment Standards Coalition to call on the BC NDP to provide employees with paid sick days under the Employment Standards Act.
Together, we’re now calling for…
- All employers to be permanently required to provide workers, including full-time, part-time, temporary and casual, with 3 days of paid sick leave annually.
- For workers to accrue an additional 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked, to a maximum of an additional 52 hours of paid sick leave annually. For a full-time worker, this combination will equate to 10 days of paid sick leave per year.
- For workers to start each new year with a minimum of 3 days of paid sick leave whether or not they have used their previous year’s entitlement and will roll over any unused accrued sick leave hours to a maximum of 52 at any time.
- For employers to not discriminate against casual and part-time workers who call in sick by offering fewer shifts or hours.
- For a doctor’s medical note to not be required to access sick leave, as Doctors of B.C. argue this places an unnecessary burden on the healthcare system.
- For employees rehired within 12 months to have their sick leave entitlement reinstated.
- For an elimination of the 90-day employment eligibility barrier.
- To ensure that paid sick days are available to all workers, regardless of their employment status, immigration status, or workplace size.
- For coverage of personal sickness, injury, or emergency, as well as family emergencies and responsibilities.
- For a provision to be added for 10 additional paid sick leave days in the event of a pandemic or other temporary public health emergency.
What were our original demands?
To provide employees, regardless of their employment status (full time, part time, casual) or length of service, with the right to a paid sick leave; In response to the COVID-19 emergency, that the Employment Standards Act should immediately provide for paid sick leave for at least 21 days for employees for the duration of the emergency, without a minimum employment requirement and without a requirement for proof of sickness; At the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency the Employment Standards Act should contain on a permanent basis a paid sick leave provision as follows, as recommended in our September 2018 submission to your Ministry:
• All employees shall accrue a minimum of one hour of paid sick time for every 35 hours worked.
• Employees will not accrue more than 52 hours of paid sick time in a calendar year, unless the employer selects a higher limit.
• A full time 35-hour per week employee will accrue 7 paid sick days per year.
• Up to 52 hours of unused paid sick time may be carried over for the use in the year following the year of accrual.
• Employers shall be prohibited from requiring evidence (i.e., a Doctor’s note) of illness for such absences.
• Employers shall be prohibited from terminating or changing the conditions of employment as a result of an employee’s sick leave, without the employee’s written consent.
Who is behind the petition?
This petition is sponsored by the Employment Standards Coalition. We have long advocated for the modernization of the Employment Standards Act and work to bring together organizations, advocates and workers to campaign for better wages and working conditions.
These organizations have signed this petition already. Sign on as your organization to be added to the list, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org:
West Coast LEAF
Vancouver and District Labour Council
First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition
Living Wage for Families Campaign
Together Against Poverty Society
BC Government and Service Employees Union
Service Employees International Union, Local 2
Victory Square Law Office
Alliance for People’s Health
Dr. Kendra Strauss, Director, The Labour Studies Program SFU
Prof. Gerardo Otero, School of International Studies SFU
BC Poverty Reduction Coalition
Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregivers’ Rights
The Hospital Employees’ Union
Social Environmental Alliance
Asian Women for Equality
Community Legal Assistance Society
United Food and Commercial Workers 1518
Climate Justice Victoria
Note on “Paid Sick Days for All”
The Employment Standards Act doesn’t offer protections for all workers and many are entirely or partially excluded by the Act. This includes gig economy workers, sex workers, and self-employed workers. We urge the government to ensure no workers fall through the cracks and all have equal access to basic work protections like paid sick days.
The current gap in legislated protections has contributed to precarity in the lives of workers long before the pandemic, with many risking their economic security and even employment security when requiring a day to take care of their physical and mental health. Paid sick days are a necessary right and must be adequate in number and accessible to all, regardless of employment status or immigration status.
In the media
- May 11, 2021: “Provided with Three COVID-19 Paid Sick Days, Workers are Promised Permanent Legislation…Next Year.”
- April 20, 2021:“Workers Present Giant ‘Invoice’ to Premier for Income Lost Due to Delay in Legislating Paid Sick Leave“
- March 9, 2021: “To reduce gender inequality, introduce paid sick leave”
- March 8, 2021: “Opinion: To reduce gender inequality, introduce paid sick leave”
- October 1, 2020: “New federal sickness benefit falls short”
- July 22, 2020: “Paid sick days for all”
- July 21, 2020: “The New Federal Paid Sick Leave Program is Not Enough”
- July 19, 2020: “Dozens gather downtown to demand better worker protection”
- May 22, 2020: “Campaign calls for mandatory paid sick days in B.C.”
- May 22, 2020: “‘Day of Action’ pushing for universal sick leave in B.C.”
- May 22, 2020: “Petition demanding paid sick leave in B.C. launched(…)”
- March 30, 2020: “What BC Got Wrong – and Right- In COVID-19 Aid”
- March 20, 2020: “Group calls for paid sick leave for all B.C. Workers”
- March 20, 2020: “Retail Action Network wants paid sick days for all workers”