CLAC Supports Paid Sick Days in Ontario
Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program much needed support for workers
Today the Ontario government announced that it will provide sick pay of up to $200 per day for up to three days, retroactive to April 19, 2021, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers will also be eligible for the benefit when caring for an ill or self-isolating dependent.
“This paid leave is a welcome response to the spread of the virus during this third wave, particularly in high-density, indoor workplaces,” says Ian DeWaard, CLAC Ontario Director. “Many of these workers do not have the economic resources to miss another day of pay. This model will ensure sick pay is paid out on the next paycheque, when workers need it most, and solves the delay that was inherent in the national program.”
Paid sick days are an important measure in fighting the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses in the workplace. The legislation announced today, if passed, creates a temporary program that will reimburse employers. Eligible workers will simply continue to be paid normally by their employer without an application process. Workers may not access the provincial and federal supports simultaneously, but can move to the federal program if they experience a longer term absence.
“When workers who are ill stay home, it not only limits virus spread at work and in the community, it allows for quicker recovery, which is good for the worker and for their coworkers,” says DeWaard. “This initiative provides immediate relief during this crisis, and also provides a great opportunity to test a possible policy solution for supporting essential workers after the pandemic.”