Paid sick days will be covered by the province of Ontario. In a new COVID-19 Worker Protection Program Benefit, full or part-time workers who have symptoms of COVID-19, mental health-related issues because of the pandemic, or need time off to get vaccinated will be covered.
Eligible employees will be paid up to $200 a day for three days. Businesses will be reimbursed for what they pay through the provincial WSIB program. The province will be topping up the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit meaning workers could be paid up to $1,000 a week. But that is only if the federal government agrees to Ontario’s proposal of doubling the federal program. If the new provincial legislation is passed the payments are retroactive to April 19th and will end on September 25th.
Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, says this new legislation is meant to make sure workers who are ill can stay at home without missing a paycheque, “Our government has long advocated for the federal government to enhance the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit to better protect the people of Ontario, especially our tireless essential workers,” said Minister McNaughton. “It is a tremendously positive step that the federal government has signalled their willingness to continue discussions on the CRSB. Now we can fix the outstanding gap in the federal program so workers can get immediate support and can stay home when needed.”
The province has been under intense pressure for over a year to provide paid sick leave to employees in order to end workplace spread of COVID-19.