Ont. to introduce paid COVID-19 leave

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Ont. to introduce legislation that will reimburse employers up to $200 per day for each worker.

Toronto, ON — Paid COVID-19 leave has come to Ontario. On April 29, Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s minister of labour, training, and skills development, will introduce legislation that would, if passed, require employers to provide employees with up to $200 of pay for up to three days if they are missing work because of COVID-19.

This program will be retroactive to April 19 and effective until Sept. 25, 2021. The Ontario government has been working with the federal government to double payments for those who qualify under the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit program (CRSB).

“Our government has long advocated for the federal government to enhance the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit program to better protect the people of Ontario, especially our tireless essential workers,” said McNaughton. “It is a tremendously positive step that the federal government has signalled their willingness to continue discussions on the CRSB. Now we can fix the outstanding gap in the federal program so workers can get immediate support and can stay home when needed.”

The province will partner with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board to deliver the program and reimburse employers up to $200 per day for each employee. The province has also offered to provide funding to the federal government to double CRSB payments from $500 per week to $1,000 per week (before taxes).

“Ontario is very proud of those working throughout this unprecedented time to keep essential parts of our economy and local communities open through the pandemic,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Ontario’s minister of finance and president of the treasury board. “New provincial funding would allow eligible individuals to receive a total of $1,000 per week through the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit program if missing work because of COVID-19.” Recipients are entitled to up to four weeks between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021, for the CRSB program.

If an eligible worker learns that they must isolate for longer than 50 per cent of the time they would have worked for the week, whether they received a positive COVID-19 test or risk of exposure, they may apply for the CRSB if they haven’t taken a paid leave day under this proposal.

For more information, please call the COVID-19 sick days hotline at 1-888-999-2248 or visit www.ontario.ca/COVIDworkerbenefit.

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