Peggy Sattler MPP, London West

Government of Ontario

Three paid sick days is not enough

Published on May 10, 2021

QUEEN'S PARK -- "Yesterday, the Premier emerged from a 14-day quarantine after a close contact in his office tested positive for COVID-19. Unlike the thousands of essential workers in Ontario who can’t work from home and who don’t have paid sick days, the Premier collected his full salary while he was in self-isolation. Thank goodness he didn’t develop COVID, but if he had, he would still have collected his full salary. He wouldn’t have had to rely on three paid sick days capped at $200 a day, then apply to the federal program and wait to see if he qualified for a weekly benefit of $500.

Why does the Premier think that he deserves 14 days of full pay while following public health advice, but the essential workers he likes to call heroes don’t?

Not only did the Premier ignore the experts calling for 14 paid sick days, but he has also made things worse for the lowest-paid Ontario workers. If low-wage workers are sick and need a full week off to recover, this government’s program only pays them for three days, which is $300 at minimum wage. Under the federal program, they would have received $500 for the week, but to access the federal program workers must notify their employer in writing that they will be taking unpaid sick days, apply for CRSB and hope they qualify: more barriers to prevent workers from staying home if they are sick.

Why won’t this government give all workers the ability to stay home if they are sick without losing their pay?"