Employers can apply for COVID-19 sick leave reimbursement

Employers are required to offer employees 3 days of paid sick leave if they need to stay home as a result of circumstances related to COVID-19. 

Photo of sick woman sitting on sofa while covered in a blanket.

Photo credit: iStock.com/fizkes

Stay home when you’re sick. That’s been one of the messages we’ve heard most frequently during the past year.

The B.C. government introduced new legislation that entitles all workers to three days of COVID-19 paid sick leave. Workers do not need to provide a doctor’s note to be entitled to this paid sick leave.

If a worker takes leave because of COVID-19, employers pay workers their full wages (up to 3 days). For employers without an existing sick-leave program, the Province will reimburse up to $200 per day for each worker’s day off. For example, if a worker’s full wages are less than $200 per day, their employer will receive whatever the full wages are. If their full wages are more than $200 per day, employers will be required to cover the amounts owed over $200.

This financial support is for workers who need to stay home because they are experiencing one of the following conditions:

  • Sick with COVID-19
  • Self-isolating due to a public health order
  • Awaiting COVID-19 test results

The goal of the program is to help prevent COVID-19 transmission in the workplace and support employers without an existing sick-leave program.

How to apply for reimbursement

Effective June 15, 2021, employers without an existing sick-leave program can apply to be reimbursed for sick days they paid to workers.

To apply for the Government of B.C.’s reimbursement program, employers must:

Here’s how it works. WorkSafeBC is administering the employer reimbursement program on behalf of the B.C. government. You can fill out the COVID-19 Sick-Leave Reimbursement application through your account with WorkSafeBC’s employer online services. The program is not part of the WorkSafeBC system and will not affect employer premiums. The funding for this is from the provincial government — not from WorkSafeBC.

For more information on the program and eligibility, visit the B.C. government’s COVID-19 paid sick leave page.

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