Ontario government introduces new paid sick leave plan

Following mammoth levels of public pressure, the Ontario government has announced a plan for paid sick leave amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario residents and officials alike have been very vocal about the significance of paid sick leave to help stop the spread of COVID-19; it empowers frontline workers to stay home when sick without losing income, instead of feeling they need to go into work when they may be contagious.

Despite clear data that shows how much of the pandemic’s spread has occurred through workplaces, Doug Ford’s Conservative government has nonetheless held their ground and, until now, voted down paid sick leave 21 times since the pandemic began.

When the plan for the Ford government’s new temporary plan is officially legislated, it will include three paid sick days that replace 100 per cent of the employee’s wages up to $200 per day for workers who are sick, experiencing symptoms, or need time off to get vaccinated.

The program will be administered by the WSIB and be retroactive to April 19th. It will not require the sick days to be taken consecutively, and will not require a doctor’s note.

However, many Ontarians were quick to point out that three paid sick days is inadequate; particularly with COVID-19, which requires a minimum of 10 days of isolation for those infected.

Ontario’s science advisory table has also been pushing on social media for a more effective paid sick day plan, highlighting its benefits.

“Ontario needs EFFECTIVE sick leave, because it’s an ethical imperative. Doing this right can heal our communities, deepen trust between Ontarians & those making decisions for us, and fight a disease that we all share – but not equally,” reads a tweet from the Ontario COVID-19 Science Table.

What do you think of Ontario’s new paid sick day plan? Let us know in the comments!

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