Ontario Announces Paid Sick Leave for Reasons Related to COVID-19
Date: April 28, 2021
On April 28, 2021, the Ontario government announced that it will be introducing legislation to provide up to three sick paid leave days to eligible employees if they are taken for reasons related to COVID-19. The program would be retroactive to April 19, 2021 and remain in effect until September 25, 2021, the date the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CSRB) ends. The government also announced that it has offered to provide funding to the federal government to double CRSB payments to Ontario residents.
Details regarding the leave have been published on the government’s website page titled Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit. On April 29, the government will be tabling the COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act. If passed, the Bill will require employers to provide eligible employees with up to $200 per employee day taken for each of the three sick days. The sick days do not need to be taken consecutively and, while a medical note will not be required, employees may be required to provide evidence reasonable in the circumstances for entitlement to the leave. Eligible employers may seek reimbursement from the Ontario government of up to $200 per employee day taken (depending on the applicable wage rate of affected employees) if they apply within 120 days of the paid leave being taken.
We will review the Bill once it is tabled and provide further information in the coming days.
Editor’s note: Note that the government announcement referred to paid “sick leave”; Bill 284, as tabled, covers a wider range of potential absences than just sickness. See our FTR Now of May 6, 2021 Ontario Enacts Legislation to Provide Paid Leave for Reasons Related to COVID-19
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