B.C. Announces Permanent Paid Sick Leave — BC Alliance for Arts + Culture

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Effective January 1, 2022, the vast majority of workers in B.C. no longer have to choose between going to work sick or losing wages, as B.C.’s first-ever permanent paid sick leave comes into effect with 5 paid sick days each year. Both full- and part-time employees are eligible for this benefit. To learn more, click here.

I’m a worker

Effective January 1, 2022, you can take up to 5 days of paid leave per year for any personal illness or injury. Your employer may request reasonably sufficient proof of illness.

This entitlement is in addition to the 3 days of unpaid sick leave currently provided by the Employment Standards Act.

You must have worked with your employer for at least 90 days to be eligible for the paid sick days.

I’m an employer

Effective January 1, 2022, you are required to provide your eligible employees with up to 5 days of paid sick leave per year if they need to stay home because they are sick or injured.

You need to pay your employees their regular wages for these days. They do not have to be taken consecutively.

Employees are also entitled to 3 days of unpaid sick leave.


The paid sick leave entitlement applies to all employees covered by the Employment Standards Act (ESA), including part-time, temporary or casual employees.

The ESA doesn’t cover certain types of employees, including:

  • Federally-regulated sectors

  • Self-employed workers or independent contractors

  • Employees in professions and occupations excluded from the ESA

Find out if employment standards apply to you.

Employment Standards

The law in B.C. sets standards for payment, compensation and working conditions in most workplaces. The standards promote open communication, fair treatment and work-life balance for employees. See what topics are covered by employment standards.

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