CFIB Statement: Announcement on BC Employer-Paid Sick Days

Vancouver, November 24, 2021 – With many BC small businesses still reeling from the pandemic and only 38 per cent back to making normal sales, today’s decision from the BC government to implement five days of permanent paid sick days is tone deaf to the realities small businesses are facing.

We are disappointed the BC government has not acknowledged or taken into consideration the challenges and realities struggling small business are facing and call on the government to offset these new costs immediately.

Recent Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) survey results show local businesses are in no position to afford this new program set to come into effect with only 38 days’ notice on January 1, 2022.

The majority of BC small businesses (64 per cent) are not supportive of any permanent employer-paid sick leave program, with 84 per cent citing costs as their main concern. BC small businesses do understand the importance of providing sick leave for their employees, with 63 per cent supporting it if the costs were fully funded by the government.

All of this is coming at a time when the average BC small business is carrying $129,348 in COVID-19 related debt and estimates it will take around 21 months to fully recover from the impacts of the pandemic. In fact, just over a third (35 per cent) of BC small businesses feel they are losing money every day that they are open.

Today’s announcement from the BC government also comes at the same time federal support programs have changed, leaving many small businesses who still need support ineligible for the new programs. Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) premiums will also increase on January 1, 2022, putting even more costs on the backs of BC small businesses when they can least afford it.

-Dan Kelly, President and CEO
-Annie Dormuth, Provincial Affairs Director, BC
-Seth Scott, Senior Policy Analyst, BC and the North

For media inquiries or interviews, please contact: Milena Stanoeva, CFIB 647-464-2814


About CFIB The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 95,000 members across every industry and region, including 9,000 in BC. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at