Guaranteed sick days for workers in Canada

In this week’s The Province, family physicians Dr. Danyaal Raza and Dr. Ryan Meili call for guaranteed sick leave across Canada.

Back in November, we posted about a campaign launched by our health worker colleagues in Ontario calling for paid sick leave and an end to requiring doctor’s notes. At present, the only province in Canada with guaranteed sick leave entitlement in its employment standards legislation is Prince Edward Island (one day of sick leave after five years of continuous employment with the same employer). In their op-ed, Raza and Meili suggest looking to San Francisco as a model for progressive paid sick leave policies.

You can read their op-ed here.

Ontario health workers call for paid sick leave

ImproveSickLeaveSome of the BC Employment Standards Coalition’s health worker colleagues in Ontario have launched a new campaign for paid sick leave.

At present, millions of Ontario workers lack paid sick leave or even unpaid job-protected sick leave. This policy gap leaves workers with few options but to go to work sick, which also puts the health of their co-workers at risk. In a recent blog post, members of Health Providers Against Poverty (HPAP) query whether Ontario’s sick day policies – including the requirement for medical notes – are making Ontarians sicker. HPAP member Dr. Andrew Pinto was recently interviewed about the campaign on CBC’s Metro Morning.

As part of the Fight for $15 and Fairness, health providers are calling on the province of Ontario to implement the following changes to improve people’s health and wellbeing, the health care system, and workplaces:

  1. Amend the Employment Standards Act so that all employees accrue a minimum of one (1) hour paid sick time for every 35 hours worked. For a full-time worker this would mean seven (7) paid sick days per year.
  2. Amend the Employment Standards Act to remove the exemption for businesses with fewer than 50 employees, so that all workers have access to unpaid, job-protected personal emergency leave.
  3. Amend the Employment Standards Act to prohibit employers from requiring evidence such as medical notes to entitle workers to personal emergency leave or paid sick days.

Please sign their petition here:

Photo courtesy of Health Providers Against Poverty.

Photo courtesy of Health Providers Against Poverty.