Special Edition Industry Update: Sick Pay, Amended Public Health Order, Provincial State of Emergency Extension
Please note, the BCHA team is off-site at a training session and will return with our regular Industry Update newsletter format on Thursday.
Information on Sick Pay

Effective January 1, 2022, The Employment Standards Act will provide up to 5 paid days and 3 unpaid days of job-protected leave each year for eligible employees. The BCHA has received many questions surrounding the specifics of eligibility and how to manage the sick pay benefit.

To ensure clarity and that our industry is prepared with updated policies and training, please see answers to your most frequently asked question below.

  • Where can operators find the specifics of eligibility for the sick pay mandate coming into effect on Jan 1?
  • The ESB has a link that outlines the new provision and confirms it is for full and part time employees after 90 days of employment. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards/time-off/leaves-of-absence#illness-or-injury
  • What constitutes part-time? If someone was to work 1 day, would they immediately be eligible for 5 paid sick days?
  • You’re entitled to the 5 days after 90 days of employment. What you would get paid would depend on your schedule – did you miss a day of work? – and then the average wages based on previous 30 days of employment.
  • Who is tracking the usage? If someone works for three employers in one year do they end up with 15 sick days? How do we know what they have already used when coming from another employer? 
  • 5 days at each employer but have to actually miss a scheduled work day and get prorated payment based on average of 30 days. Thus there is no need to track usage.
  • Are the sick days prorated? How is that determined for full time and part time workers?
  • The 5 days are not prorated but the payment is. You have 5 days at start of employment year and get paid based on average of previous 30 days.
  • Is there a chance sick days can be prorated similar to the stat pay, based on the hours worked in the 30 days before?
  • Yes – that’s in the provision.
  • How do we determine criteria for qualifying? What constitutes a sick day? How do you manage a sick day in terms of physical and mental health?
  • Wide open to the employer’s discretion – and depends what the employee provides as proof that you accept as sufficient.
  • Is there a year to year carry over? Are there any measures in place to prevent everyone to claim their last sick day at the end of the year if they didn’t use them?
  • We strongly recommend no carry over. If any unused on Dec 31 they are gone.
  • Are employees that work extremely limited hours, eligible for sick days? For example, is someone who works twice monthly eligible for sick pay on close to 20% of their working days in a calendar year?
  • Yes but their payment would reflect past 30 days.
  • Are employers permitted to mandate that sick days are used when employees don’t show up for work?
  • No. The employee has to make a claim to paid sick leave. If they don’t show up, that’s an unpaid leave and may be disciplinable if unapproved absence.
  • Does it apply to unionized workplaces where collective agreements already have care days offered? How does it impact these workplaces and their collective agreements? Do unionized workplaces need to continue to offer care days in addition to the mandatory sick days?
  • The provisions only apply to collective agreements (C/A) if the existing language in the C/A doesn’t meet or exceed what the C/A provides. If a C/A provides 6 fully paid days a year, then the ESA changes we made have zero application at that worksite
Public Health Order Change | Table to Counter Service
The Ministry of Public Health has made some revisions to the Public Health Order on Food and Liquor Serving Premises, with attention to the conversion of table service restaurants to counter service. 

The Ministry heard from some premises that want to or have converted their operation from table service to counter service, dropping the selling of liquor for premise consumption in order to not have to undertake proof of vaccination checking.
Changes Outlined:
  • Consequently, the main changes in this order are to establish the rules for restaurants that want to make this conversion. 
  • To do so the order defines table service by listing all the characteristics that comprise table service. 
  • If a place does any of the things listed in the definition they are considered a table service restaurants and have to do proof of vaccination checking. 

Additional Clarifications:
  • Clarification that being fully vaccinated does not include having to have had a booster shot
  • Minor editorial changes for consistency with the Gatherings and Events order
Inn The News | BCHA Comments on State of Industry
Ingrid Jarrett, CEO and President of the British Columbia Hotel Association, joined CBC On the Coast to explain how travel restrictions on B.C.’s flood-damaged highways are expected to impact tourism in the province.

The tourism industry has struggled with multiple crises over 2021. BCHA President and CEO, Ingrid Jarrett, joined Stephen Quinn on The Early Edition, sharing how accommodators have been impacted and the tools that are in place to support industry operators.

BC Hotel Association President and CEO, Ingrid Jarrett highlighted to Castanet News the work industry is doing to support and implement new travel routes, while providing competitive pricing, in recognition of road and highway closures ahead of the holiday season.

BC Extends Provincial State of Emergency | Travel Toolkit
The provincial state of emergency has been extended to Dec. 28, 2021 to support flood and landslide recovery efforts including highway repair.

The provincial government said the order limiting non-essential vehicles to 30 litres of fuel per trip to the gas station will expire at end-of-day Dec. 14, 2021 (tomorrow) as the Trans Mountain Pipeline gradually re-opens and shipments of fuel arrive via truck and barge.

The order restricting non-essential travel on highways 3 and 99 will remain in place including:
  • Highway 3: from the junction of Highway 5 and Highway 3 in Hope to the west entrance to Princeton from Highway 3; and
  • from the junction of Highway 99 and Lillooet River Road to the BC Hydro Seton Lake Campsite access in Lillooet (vehicle weight must be no more than 14,500 kilograms).