WorkSafeBC announces paid sick leave reimbursement program details; applications available June 15

As we previously reported, the Employment Standards Act was amended on May 20, 2021 to require employers to provide employees with three days of paid sick leave for certain COVID-19 related reasons through December 31, 2021.

In conjunction with the amendment, the Province announced it was developing a reimbursement program for employers who did not have an existing paid sick leave program. The reimbursement program would allow these employers to seek up to $200 per worker, per day, to cover the costs of providing the paid leave.

WorkSafeBC just released details for how and when employers can apply for the reimbursement.

Starting on June 15, 2021, eligible employers can submit a COVID-19 Sick-Leave Reimbursement application through WorkSafeBC’s online services portal.
To apply for reimbursement, employers must:

    1. Be registered for WorkSafeBC insurance coverage;
    2. Sign up for WorkSafeBC’s online services (even if using Fast File & Pay); and
    3. Not have an existing paid sick-leave program.

All employers are required to pay eligible workers for the leave up front when taken. Therefore, employers who intend to seek reimbursement should ensure they are registered for WorkSafeBC’s insurance coverage and online services so they may promptly seek and receive reimbursement.

At this point, no other details regarding employer eligibility for reimbursement – other than not having an existing paid sick-leave program—have been released. We will continue to monitor for further updates and hope to have more information prior to implementation on June 15.

Note to our Readers: Information regarding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. We are working to bring you up-to-date articles as the legal issues develop and to keep our previous posts updated. Given that the legal issues related to COVID-19 are constantly changing, if you are looking for legal advice or are dealing with an issue in relation to COVID-19, please contact your Harris lawyer or a member of our COVID-19 response team: Sari Wiens, Ilan BurkesNicole Toye or Jessica Fairbairn.

To read our most recent articles and other updates on COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 Updates page.