Jan 19, 2021
By Jane Brown
Ontario’s premier is not budging on his opposition to creating provincially legislated sick pay, despite mounting criticism from advocates who say an existing federal program does not do enough to protect workers.
Doug Ford is reiterating that he doesn’t want to double up on the federal program, but he does admit it needs to be changed and his people are working with the Trudeau Liberals in Ottawa to do this.
John Tory meantime, says he and the other GTHA mayors have floated a solution.
“You would have the province say that this is a compulsory matter for employers to provide these days to people who are in need of isolation during the pandemic and during that period,” Tory explained, “And that the employers would be required to pay the people but then the federal government through it’s unemployment benefit emergency system would repay the employer.”
The federal government recovery sickness benefit provides people with $500 a week for up to two weeks if they are unable to attend work due to illness.
But there are problems. Payments can sometimes take weeks to process and the benefit does not provide any job security to those who elect to apply for it.