My Stay Home If You Are Sick Act creates a made-in-Ontario framework for providing paid sick leave to all Ontario workers, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
This bill will
- give employees in provincially regulated workplaces the right to at least 10 days of personal emergency leave (PEL) each year, 7 of which must be paid
- provide an additional 14 days of paid leave during an infectious disease emergency
- eliminate the need for doctors’ notes
- ensure financial support for small businesses struggling to stay afloat through the pandemic so they can provide vital paid sick days to their employees
For months, public health experts have been calling for paid sick leave to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Workers without paid sick days are the people we have relied on most during the pandemic. They have cared for our seniors, served us food, cleaned our buildings, and bagged our groceries. But when they get sick, or when their child wakes up with a sore throat, they must make an impossible choice, because staying home to recover or care for their child means giving up their pay. It could mean not being able to make the rent, not being able to pay the bills, not being able to buy groceries.
An estimated 60 per cent of Ontarians do not have permanent paid sick days, and that number is much higher among low-income workers, in sectors like food service, hospitality and retail, and among racialized or immigrant people.
Tell the government that it's time for every worker to have access to paid sick days. Download a print petition to collect signatures for presentation in the legislature, or add your name below.
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TO THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO:
WHEREAS there is overwhelming evidence to show that paid sick leave significantly reduces the spread of infectious disease, promotes preventive health care and reduces health care system costs; and
WHEREAS 60% of Ontario workers do not have access to paid sick days, and therefore must sacrifice income to stay home if they are sick; and
WHEREAS low-wage and precarious workers who can least afford to miss pay are the most likely to be denied paid sick days; and
WHEREAS employers benefit when sick workers can afford to stay home, limiting the spread of illness to co-workers and customers, and allowing workers to recover faster; and
WHEREAS during an infectious disease emergency, it is unreasonable and dangerous to public health to make workers choose between protecting their communities and providing for their families; and
WHEREAS mandating employers to provide paid sick leave through the Employment Standards Act ensures that workers have seamless, uninterrupted access to their pay; and
WHEREAS the COVID-19 pandemic has left many small businesses hanging by a thread, and transitional financial support will assist these businesses to pay for sick leave for their employees during the pandemic;
THEREFORE, we the undersigned petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to immediately pass the Stay Home If You Are Sick Act to provide workers with 10 permanent sick days (7 of which are paid) without the requirement for doctors’ notes, and an additional 14 paid sick days during an infectious disease emergency, so they can follow public health advice and keep our workplaces and our communities safe.