Proposed changes to the Employment Standards Act could double the amount of paid sick days from five to 10. (File photo.)

Paid sick days could double under revised B.C. employment law

Ladysmith small business owners watching closely

What might be a welcome change for sickness-prone or casual workers in the Ladysmith area could result in financial difficulties for their bosses.

An overhaul of the Employment Standards Act could come as early as this spring with the prospect of enhanced sick day and statutory holiday pay reforms raising concerns among employers.

B.C. Ministry of Labour is accepting public comments until March 31 on modernization of the act, last significantly reviewed 25 years ago. Among recommendations on the table: a doubling of 10 paid sick-leave days from the current five and a lowering of work days required for employees to qualify for statutory holiday pay. Employees would have to work only 16 of the preceding 60 days rather than 15 of the preceding 30 days.

The proposed changes follow a four-year review by the B.C. Law Institute, an independent, non-partisan group.

Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody) is urging businesses to join an email campaign protesting the proposals. The chamber argues that the changes would add to a cost burden already inflated by minimum wage increases and the new Employer Health Tax.

Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce president Tammy Leslie noted that the sick-leave proposal would constitute a substantial increase for employers. However, the matter hasn’t been raised at the local or regional level, she said.

“If changes are coming, we will be closely monitoring them because it definitely affects small business,” Leslie said.

Rising costs were cited by the B.C. Chamber in its response last week to the federal budget. A recent chamber survey indicated confidence in the B.C. economy has slipped by half among businesses.

Seventy-nine per cent of respondents indicated that the increased cost of doing business in the province is the primary cause, said Val Litwin, B.C. Chamber CEO.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Businesses mixed on downtown temporary washroom

Ladysmith Health Food Stores launches petition against the temporary washroom

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Cheri Mactier celebrates 20 years in Ladysmith real estate

After 20 years in town, Mactier’s daughter, Brianne Mactier is joining the family business

Exhibit showcases one side of artist’s wide-ranging personality

Skagfeld takes something from all of her life experiences

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breath

Cowichan’s Dillabaugh checks in from the NHL bubble in Toronto

Flyers’ Duncan-born goalie coach weighs in on hockey restart

Wedding party bear sprayed at Okanagan campsite irks locals

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Paramedics fired for allowing patient to crawl for treatment on Downtown Eastside: court documents

The man spent three days in intensive care and three months recovering in hospital from sepsis

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Most Read