Apr 20, 2021
By Jane Brown
Starting Friday April 23rd, any non-essential business in Peel Region with five or more cases of COVID-19 will automatically need to close for 10 days.
Peel Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh explained on Tuesday morning, the policy is being implemented as workers continue to show up with symptoms of COVID-19 because they have feel they have no choice.
“And in the absence of paid sick days we know that one in four workers, in an analysis that we did earlier this year, has presented to work with symptoms and then subsequently tested. So I think the most important thing as we move to implement this policy is also to reiterate that there is an important role to be played for adhering to work place precautions, especially with these variants. Once they get in there, they are spreading further and faster,” Dr. Loh explained.
Loh said that the order will force employees to isolate at home, preventing them from seeking work elsewhere, but that employers should continue paying employees while they are home.
Exemptions will include grocery stores, pharmacies, hospital and healthcare facilities.
The Ford government has repeatedly declined to legislate paid sick time during the pandemic, referring instead to the Canadian Sickness Recovery Benefit, largely funded by the federal government, which numerous doctors and social scientists is inadequate.