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Ontario will offer employees 3 days off as paid sick leave

The Ontario government has issued a statement that full-time and part-time workers who need time off due to Covid-19 will be able to get up to three days of paid sick leave. The program that the province intends to introduce is to operate as a temporary program and will be available until September.


The program is planned to be launched next Thursday. Once approved, employers will be required to offer employees up to three days off on request due to Covid-19. The province is to reimburse employers  $ 200 per day for each employee.


The program of paid sick leave was named as the Ontario Covid-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit Program and will be administered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). The program will end on the same day as Canada Recovery and Sickness Benefit (CRSB), i.e., on September 25.


One will not need a medical certificate to take advantage of the paid sick leave, and the start of the program is April 19, so people will be able to apply for payment of the sick leave retroactively.


According to the message, Labor Minister Monte McNaughton during a press conference in Queen’s Park on Wednesday, employees who were told at work to isolate themselves, e.g., warehouse workers, or, for example, salespeople who need to take a day off to go and get vaccinated, will be able to do so and will be paid for it. Paid sick leave introduced by the province is intended to be a bridge for employees waiting for the payment of the government’s CRSB benefit.


As part of the province’s plan to improve the provision of benefits to the most vulnerable essential workers, the Ford government proposed to the federal government a provincial “top-up” or surcharge to the CRSB benefits, which would increase from $ 500 to $ 1,000.


Whether the federal government will agree to Ontario’s proposal is not yet known.


The announcement of the latest paid sick leave plan is a result of pressure from medical experts, calling for months for the province to introduce paid sick leave that would far exceed the CRSB program.


Paid sick leave would reduce the transmission of Covid-19, experts say, as many more workers would now stay at home.


In the United States, human mobility decreased following the introduction of the paid sick leave program, reducing confirmed cases of Covid-19 by 50% over a short period of time.


In Europe, for example, in Germany, employees receive paid sick leave in the amount of 100% of their salary, paid for 30 days by the employer, and then the sick leave payment is taken over by the state.


In Poland, employees receive paid sick leave for 30 days in the amount of 80% of their salary paid by the employer, and after a month the payment is taken over by the state social security system.

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