Peter Tabuns MPP, Toronto-Danforth

Government of Ontario

Poor uptake highlights need for permanent, sufficient, properly communicated paid sick days: NDP

Published on July 23, 2021

LONDON – Ontario NDP Labour critic Peggy Sattler said poor uptake of the Ford government's paid sick days, as reported by the CBC, underscores the need for a permanent and expanded paid sick days program that’s properly communicated to workers and employees:

"COVID-19 has highlighted the impossible choice many workers in Ontario face between missing a paycheque and going into work sick, yet the meager and temporary three paid sick days Doug Ford introduced far too late in the pandemic are nowhere near enough.

Three paid sick days, which were withheld right until the third wave was on the decline, is totally insufficient when we know COVID-19 takes at least two weeks to recover from and to stop being contagious. Side effects from the vaccine can last several days.

Critically, the Ford government failed to invest in publicizing the program. Do all workers and employers know their rights and how to access the temporary program? We believe the answer is no, because this government has kept it hush-hush. 

We know that workers don't claim paid sick days unless they need them. The Ontario NDP will continue to fight for permanent paid sick days, plus an additional 14 paid sick days paid by the province during an infectious disease emergency. Paid sick days must be a regular, well-known part of Ontario’s Labour rules so employees know: stay home when you are sick."