Illness disproportionately affects equity-seeking groups, including women and racialized groups. They tend to be low-income workers, often working frontline jobs, and unable to forgo a day’s pay to stay home if sick.
While the government has introduced a permanent program of five paid sick days for BC, it fails to meet the standard OECD level of ten paid sick days. BC’s approach does not seem to be tied to clearly articulated public health and economic outcomes as an essential public health measure, and an important basic standard for business. Government should closely monitor the impacts of this policy over the course of 2022, and work with labour advocates and business to explore moving to match other OECD countries.