BC recently implemented 5 job-protected paid sick days (in addition to the 3 unpaid sick days). I’m wondering how this plays out for an employer’s attendance disciplinary process. Is it best practice to start the disciplinary process after the 8 days are used up or can an employer start the process earlier?
Another scenario, if you don’t mind: A new hire within their 3 month probation is not eligible to receive the 8 job-protected days. The new hire calls in sick five times, for example, during their probation period and a further five times after their probation comes to an end. Does this mean the five paid days after their probation ended are job-protected and can’t be considered part of the disciplinary process?
You can’t count the paid sick days as culpable absences or you’ll be in violation of the BC Employment Standards Act. If as I hope is the case, the culpable absences don’t include ESA leave days and you’ve got a thoroughly and well document case for termination due to absenteeism, the 8 paid days should have no impact on when to start the disciplinary process. In other words, you don’t have to allow the employee to use the full allotment before initiating discipline–assuming, of course, you have a solid case.