Starting Thursday, June 17th, employers can be reimbursed for wages paid to employees out on COVID-19 related sick leave.

Government officials said the program is retroactive to May 20th, 2021, when the legislation was first passed. Officials added the program will help ensure workers can stay home for up to three days, while also supporting the business.

The changes to the Employment Standards Act will require employers to pay sick workers their regular wages. Employers can apply for up to $200 a day, for a maximum of three days per worker to cover the cost of wages.

According to government officials, the program is available to employers where workers needed to stay home because they were diagnosed with COVID-19, waiting for a COVID-19 test, needing to self-isolate, or were directed to stay home by their employer because of an exposure risk.

WorkSafeBC will be administering the program through funding from the B.C government.

Government officials said employers must be registered for WorkSafeBC compensation coverage and signed up for WorkSafeBC’s online services to apply for any reimbursement.

The B.C. government is also establishing a permanent paid sick leave program, scheduled to begin January 1st, 2022.

**Story by Josiah Spyker**