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North Shore readers are split on issue of paid sick time: poll

While almost all public sector workers those working for larger corporations get paid time off while sick, many low-wage employees and those working for small businesses do not. The government has asked if workers should get three, five or 10 paid sick days a year.
sneezing at work
A provision by the province of British Columbia for permanent paid sick time for employees is meant to prevent workers coming to work sick and spreading illness.

While almost all public sector workers, unionized workers and those working for larger corporations have access to paid time off while sick in B.C., many low-wage employees and those working for smaller businesses do not. So while all of us have been told to stay home when we have symptoms of illness, many workers currently face a choice between getting paid or going to work while sick.

The B.C. government is in the final stages of public consultation about how many paid sick days should become law in British Columbia: three days, five days or 10 days. But while health officials and unions are calling on the government to make 10 days of paid sick leave mandatory for all workers, some employers say that's an expense they can't afford – unless government pays for it.

In an online poll, North Shore readers were almost evenly divided about whether workers should get 10 paid sick days or fewer. Just over 44 per cent (44.25 per cent) of local readers felt 10 days' paid sick time off was the better option to ensure employees don't come to work while ill. The same number (44.09 per cent) felt that between three and five days' paid sick time would be appropriate.

Over 10 per cent (11.5 per cent) of local poll respondents felt employers shouldn't have to pay for paid sick time.

The North Shore News polled 1,620 North Shore News readers and asked the question: How much employer-paid sick time should B.C. employees get?

The poll ran from Oct. 4 to Oct. 25 of this year (2021). Of the 1,620 votes, we can determine that 635 are from within the communities of North and West Vancouver. The full results are as follows:

Ten days at a minimum. Everyone should be able to take paid time off work when they are sick. Otherwise employees will continue to come to work sick, spreading virusing including COVID. 44.25 % local, 45.06 % total    
Between three and five days. Workers should have some time off for sickness but not so much that they are tempted to use it as paid time off when they aren't sick. 44.09 % local, 40.00 % total    
I don't think employers should have to pay for sick time. They've already been hit hard with the pandemic. Making them pay for sick time and to replace those workers is just another blow. 11.50 % local, 14.94 % total    
  Local   Total

Results are based on an online study of adult North Shore News readers that are located in North and West Vancouver. The margin of error - which measures sample variability - is +/- 2.42%, 19 times out of 20.

North Shore News uses a variety of techniques to capture data, detect and prevent fraudulent votes, detect and prevent robots, and filter out non-local and duplicate votes.

To let the government know what you think directly, you can go online and have your say.