- The scheme, which allows employees to take up to three paid sick days each year, was set to stop at the end of December.
- The sick days, according to officials, will allow workers to take time off to get their COVID-19 booster shots or to get their children vaccinated.
Ontario’s paid sick leave program will be extended until at least July 2022, with the province’s labor minister reiterating his vow to keep the law in place until the pandemic is finished.
After a recent extension, the program, which provides up to three paid sick days per employee, was slated to terminate at the end of December.
In a news release issued Tuesday afternoon, the Doug Ford government said the program will be extended until July 31, 2022. The sick days, according to officials, will allow workers to take time off to get their COVID-19 booster shots or to get their children vaccinated.
Ontario Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton told CTV News Toronto earlier in the day that he is committed to providing three paid sick days throughout the pandemic.
“I’ll keep my word,” he continued, “and we’ll make sure those paid sick days are there as long as COVID is here.” “For me, this is front and center. It’s a top priority for me. I will ensure that employees are given paid sick days throughout the epidemic. I’ll stick to my word, and we’ll have more to talk about it soon.”
According to the law, employers must provide employees with up to $200 in salary for up to three days missed due to COVID-19. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board then reimburses the businesses.
According to McNaughton, the application has been used by over 200,000 workers so far. Employees can utilize their three sick days to obtain their COVID-19 immunization, take a COVID-19 test, isolate themselves, or take care of a family member. People can also utilize them as mental health days, according to McNaughton.
It’s unclear whether the initiative will continue when the pandemic is declared endemic. When asked if the Ford administration would make the sick leave program permanent, McNaughton was evasive, saying that his commitment was due to the pandemic.
“Again, my commitment to workers is that paid sick days will be available throughout this pandemic,” he stated, implying that “more to come on paid sick days” and other workplace protections.
Shortly after taking office, the Ford government abolished a Liberal-led provincial paid sick leave program. The premier said that it was up to the company to provide employees more time off if they needed it.
Source: CTV News
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