Employment Standards Act

The provincial government is making changes to sick leave and statutory holiday pay laws. These changes add considerable costs to businesses around the province.

As a result, we have been steadfastly advocating against some of the most radical proposals, such as increasing sick leave to 10 paid days a year. Your voice needs to be heard.

If you agree with this position, submit your opinion. We’ve provided a template letter which you can send to the Ministry of Labour to voice your opposition to these changes.

Voicing your opinion is as easy as 1-2-3.

1. Copy and paste the below letter into your email
2.  Insert your name and business into the bold fields
3. Send the email to by March 31, 2019.


Attention: The Honourable Minister of Labour for British Columbia Harry Bains, MLA
Submitted Via Email:  

The Honourable Harry Bains, MLA
BC Minister of Labour
PO Box 9064, Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC, V8W 9E2

Dear Minister Bains,

RE: BCLI Employment Standards Act Reform Project; Sick and Family Responsibility Leave; Statutory Holiday Pay

My name is [insert name], [insert title] of [insert business name], and I am writing you to express my concern with proposed changes to Sick Leave and Statutory Holiday Pay outlined in the B.C. Law Institute’s Employment Standards Act Reform Project. Businesses like mine have been facing mounting costs over the past two years. Increases in the minimum wage, the new Employer Health Tax, and other business costs are stunting growth and reducing businesses’ capacity to investment in our local community. Further costs to business resulting from gratuitous sick leave and statutory holiday pay laws would only serve to reinforce these negative trends.

The BCLI Employment Standards Act Reform Project Committee has outlined a number of options to reform sick leave. They range from keeping the existing system of 5 unpaid leave days, to a substantial change of 10 paid sick leave days. The cost associated with the latter option is extremely worrying to employers like myself. This would not only go well beyond the standard across Canadian jurisdictions but could also discourage employers from hiring additional workers and instead opt for contract arrangements. I firmly support the current sick leave policy and ask that it remain unchanged or similar to its current incarnation.

I also want to express my opposition to a recommendation by the Committee to relax the eligibility requirements for statutory holiday pay. The new law would only require employees to work or earn wages on 16 of the 60 days preceding a statutory holiday to be eligible for statutory holiday pay, as opposed to 15 of 30 days preceding statutory holidays that is in place currently.

Statutory holidays and paid sick leave are expensive for employers. To improve B.C.’s investment and business climate, a proper balance between promoting employee welfare and reducing business costs is crucial. When businesses do not thrive and are faced with cutting labour costs, the employees are the first to feel it. I urge you to consider the above input so that businesses in B.C. can continue to drive our economy forward with strength.


[insert name here]
[insert title and business name here]