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Ford government urged to extend paid sick leave in the wave of COVID-19

Ontario Premier Doug Fordgives employees access to three days of paid sick leave amid new concerns about a rising wave of COVID You are being asked to extend your emergency measures. -19in the state. The

stateworker income protection benefit programwas first introduced in April 2021 during the Delta-led wave of COVID-19 and is in the pandemic omicron stage. Enhanced in is scheduled to end on July 31st. There is no formal instruction from the progressive conservative government as to whether the measures will be extended.

The lack of clarity has raised new concerns among government political critics who argue that workers must choose between health and income.

"People who do not have access to paid sick leave must make that choice. Can I get a job and affect my colleagues rather than self-isolate? Or will you be financially hurt by doing the right thing at home, "says NDPMPP Peggy Satler.

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"We don't have to sit in the legislature. The government has a stroke and now urgent temporary paid leave. You can prolong your sick leave. Of the pen, "Satler said.

Read more: 'Nurses can't be anywhere': Lack of medical staff in Ontario urges ER closure

{31 Since the program was implemented, government data show that nearly 500,000 workers have relied on the program to bring in sick people without interrupting wages. rice field.

As of June 24, the government said 470,000 workers had claimed illness and cost the state $ 189 million. The state said the majority of claims were made in the manufacturing, retail and healthcare sectors, most of which came from employees in Mississauga, Toronto and London.

State programs allow workers to take time off to care for sick relatives, to be vaccinated with booster COVID-19, and to be vaccinated with infants. I did.

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Employers are up to per employee per day through the Workplace Safety Insurance Commission, which offers the program. $ 200 will be refunded. ..

Minister of Labor Monte McNaughtonwas unable to respond to an interview about the status of the program.

However, McNaughton is also faced with a call to expand the program by allowing workers permanent access to 10 days of paid sick leave and enshrining it by law. ..

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Sutler is at home if Congress is sick when Congress resumes in AugustLaw He said he plans to reintroduce. Workers have access to 10 days of paid emergency leave and 14 days of unpaid emergency leave each year.

The bill was originally submitted in 2021, but was defeated by the Ford government.

Read more:British Columbia's new paid sick leave policy takes effect

Dr. Vanessa Redit, a member of the Decent Work and Health Network, told Global News that low-wage workers faced a higher burden of COVID-19 due to workplace exposure.

Redditt said the state needs to focus on the needs of these workers beyond the pandemic.

"Parents need time to care for their children when they are sick. They need vacation to recover from ankle sprains, appendectomy, and miscarriage," Redditt said.

However, the government has an average of 2.5 days of sick leave, despite three days of access, much shorter than the 10 days required by advocates. I pointed out.

Redditt said government data revealed that concerns about paying sick leave could be abused.

"Evidence suggests, on average, that people are not running out of paid sick leave and are using it properly to recover from their illness," Redditt said. increase.

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