Chamber ill over sick leave
Okanagan Edge Staff - Nov 25, 2021 - Biz Releases

File photo: Castanet

Kelowna Chamber of Commerce is not happy that the B.C. government has mandated paid sick leave of up to five days.

The chamber is concerned that it will have a negative effect on small businesses, who have already had enough to deal with during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The timing of the announcement was surprising, as we had hoped the province would engage the  business community a bit more prior to a decision,” chamber board chair Jeffrey Robinson said in a press release. “Given the current fragility of the economy, we had recently contacted the labour minister requesting that the government hold off on implementing what, at the time, the government was suggesting could be as high as ten paid sick days.”

The chamber says most large employers have already implemented and can afford paid sick days, so it is concerned about the small businesses that do not have paid sick days in their budget.

“Many businesses have been resilient through this pandemic, but very few are thriving,” Robinson said. “Our members  are emotionally and financially exhausted. The added cost of the new permanent paid sick leave program adds to the cumulative impact of increased taxes and costs.”

Robinson pointed out that businesses have already had to absorb the recent costs of the employer health tax, rising property taxes and pandemic safety measures.

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