Province Introduces Paid COVID-19 Leave
The Province introduced legislation today to create a temporary COVID-19 focused provincial sick day program. This legislation, if passed, will require employers to provide workers with up to three days of pay, up to $200 per day, if missing work because of COVID-19. This will be retroactive to April 19, 2021 and effective until September 25, 2021, the same date the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) program will expire.
The WSIB will administer the program but it will be funded by the Province, not by the WSIB who relies on employers to fund their programs. At the time of writing the draft legislation was not available on the Legislative Assembly website, but when it is posted it should be found here
The Province has also offered to provide funding to the federal government to double CRSB payments to Ontario residents, adding an additional $500 per week to eligible individuals for a total of $1,000 per week. It is understood that federal-provincial discussions are currently occurring on creating a bridge between these programs and making it easier for employees to navigate between them when needed. The two programs, once up and operating together, are not to be used in the same week.
lt has been stated by the Province that these temporary sick days, when passed into law, are not be stacked on top of employer provided benefits if those benefits already provide for 3 or more sick days as part of the employment entitlements. As the employer is to manage the provision of these temporary COVID-19 focused provincial sick days, it is presumed that the employer will make sure this does not occur.