HR Home Forums Answer for Pandemic Related Paid Sick Day

Conner Lantz
Post count: 4836

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. These are all excellent questions that deserved a much faster response:

  1. Yes, you can provide for paid sick leave days on a temporary basis for the duration of the pandemic, subject to the terms of any applicable employment contracts or collective agreements. In fact, many employers are doing just that to keep sick employees home. Also keep in mind that in BC, employees are entitled to 3 days’ unpaid sick leave.
  2. Probably No on the negative test. Explanation: Public health guidelines allow/require pre-employment SCREENING, which constitutes asking YES/NO questions about COVID symptoms, travel outside Canada and recent exposure to a person confirmed as or probably having COVID. It does NOT mandate COVID TESTING, which is far more intrusive. There would have to be some unusually compelling reason to justify going beyond the screening and requiring a negative test. The mere fact that an employee HAD COVID isn’t enough since there’s no medical evidence suggesting that such people are a greater risk to spread the virus, provided, of course, their symptoms have fully resolved and they’ve done the minimum 14 days of self-isolation.

Sorry again for keeping you waiting and I hope that was worth the wait.