Supporting Vulnerable Workers

Introducing paid sick leave to help ensure workers get immediate support and can stay home when needed

Supporting hard working families is a priority for our PC government. We’ve been advocating for workers and their families since the start of this pandemic.

Workers in Ontario need a fair deal, not a federal program that pays below minimum wage. With the new variants of concern, people need more support now than ever before. That’s why our government is leading the way by filling the gap in the federal government’s Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) to ensure workers have access to the most generous pandemic paid leave in the country.

We have agreed to provide funding for the federal government to double payments to Ontario residents, adding an additional $500 per week to eligible individuals for a total of $1000 per week. In response, the federal government has signaled its willingness to do so and enhanced payments will be sent to eligible residents as soon as the CRSB program is updated.

We know there are other gaps in the federal program, such as not being paid while waiting for COVID test results or while getting vaccinated. On Thursday, April 29th, 2021, our government will be introducing the COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act that, if passed, would make Ontario the only province with three days at regular pay for those who miss work because of COVID-19.

This legislation would be retroactive to April 19, 2021 and effective until September 25, 2021, the date the CRSB will expire – by providing time-limited paid leave, we are ensuring workers can stay home if they’re feeling symptoms of COVID-19. This will help reassure workers and families worried about making ends meet and help stop the spread of the virus.

To not burden businesses during this time challenging time, our government will reimburse employers up to $200 per day for each employee.

These latest measures build on other existing provincial supports like job protected leave and access to isolation facilities. Ontario’s approach is the most comprehensive COVID-19 sick leave in the country.

As our PC government continues to do what is necessary to control the spread of COVID-19, it remains vital for the federal government to secure more vaccines sooner and close the loopholes in border restrictions that will continue to allow new, more contagious variants to enter the country.