Ontario announces paid sick leave program offering 3 days for workers – April 28, 2021
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In a press conference at Queen’s Park, Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton announces the provincial government is setting up the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit and will introduce legislation to provide three paid sick days to workers. Employers would be required to pay workers up to $200 a day for up to three days due to COVID-19 related reasons including if they are sick, need to get tested or vaccinated, or if they are waiting for test results in isolation. Minister McNaughton is joined by Peter Bethlenfalvy, Ontario’s minister of finance and president of the Treasury Board. The program is retroactive from April 19 and will run until September 25, 2021. It will reportedly cost between $750 million and $1.5 billion. Employers will be reimbursed through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).
The provincial government has also proposed doubling payments from the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) from $500 to $1,000 a week for affected workers if Ottawa agrees to administer the program. On April 22, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that his government was working on a paid sick-leave program after months of pressure.