November 24, 2021, VANCOUVER, B.C. — Bridgitte Anderson, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, made the following statement regarding the announcement of an employer-paid sick leave program in British Columbia.
“The health and safety of workers is very important, and businesses take their responsibility seriously. Our members have been going above and beyond public health orders to protect workers and have increased spending on safety measures. They have worked closely with the government, WorkSafeBC and Public Health on combating the collective challenge of COVID-19.
The announcement today of five days of employer-paid sick leave is estimated to cost between $506 million and $1.1 billion on an annual basis. With just one month until final implementation, it will be challenging for many small businesses, who have not budgeted for this cost, and are also dealing with the impacts of the floods, associated supply chain challenges, labour shortages, and inflationary pressures. The compounding issues impacting businesses in Greater Vancouver will increase costs and put upward pressure on prices. Many small businesses in sectors hit hard by the pandemic will likely feel the impact most.
Businesses have been working hard, especially since the pandemic began, to support the health and wellbeing of employees. We look forward to continued dialogue with the government to support economic recovery and ensure a healthy and vibrant private and small business sector in British Columbia.”
About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:
Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Pacific Canada’s leading business association, engaging members to impact public policy at all levels of government and to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one-third of B.C.’s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through four unique Signature Programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events programs in the country, providing a platform for national and international thought leaders to enlighten B.C.’s business leaders.