McNaughton says employers will give three paid sick days to be reimbursed by the province

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Labour Minister and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton

The Minister of Labour, Monte McNaughton, will introduce legislation to require employers to provide employees with up to $200 of pay a day for three days if they are missing work because of COVID-19.

This program will be retroactive to April 19, 2021 and effective until September 25, 2021, the date the CRSB will expire.

By providing time-limited access to three paid leave days, the province is ensuring employees can pay their bills as they help stop the spread of the virus, including by getting tested, waiting for their results in isolation or going to get their vaccine.

Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, will introduce legislation that would, if passed, require employers to provide employees with up to $200 of pay for up to three days if they are missing work because of COVID-19. This program will be retroactive to April 19, 2021 and effective until September 25, 2021, the date the CRSB will expire.

McNaughton says this ensuresg employees can pay their bills as they help stop the spread of the virus.

He adds the province is still talking with the federal government to allow the province to distribute another $500 per week on top of the federal sick leave benefit. McNaughton wants to the federal to continue administering the system.

Previous to the federal budget, the provincial government said it didn’t need a paid sick leave program in Ontario since the federal benefit was available. After the budget, McNaughton faulted the federal government for not changing the system saying it didn’t even pay workers minimum wage. In the last week, the Conservative government has signalled it wanted the federal government to continue to operate the benefit with extra money from the province.

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is expected to deliver the program and reimburse employers up to $200 per day for each employee.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is disappointed this was the plan the Conservatives introduced after a year. “And it’s still too little. COVID-19 takes a couple weeks to get over. Even getting a test and waiting for results can take several days. Three sick days is not enough. 

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca agreed on social media.

“Today’s half-hearted attempt at a paid sick leave program is an abandonment of workers. It’s been a week since his apology and 412 days since my first letter on paid sick leave, and what the province came up with is a failure.

“In the last week alone, more than 20,000 people have gotten sick and 159 have died while we waited for some form of action. Appalling.

“Doug Ford’s program abandons our workers and is an attempt to salvage his own career instead of saving the lives of our essential workers who are begging for this security. He needs to resign for his total failure to lead this province through a crisis,” Del Duca added.