April 28th, 2021
REALITY CHECK: Paid sick days. Period.
Last July, in the aftermath of COVID’s first wave, the Liberal government bent to NDP demands that paid sick leave be provided as a tool to stop the spread of COVID-19 at work. Their promise—paid sick days. Period.
“ [...] a new temporary income support program will provide workers who do not have paid sick leave with access to 10 days of paid sick leave related to COVID-19” - Canada.ca, July 23, 2020
Unfortunately for Canadians, the program never lived up to this promise. New Democrats have been raising the alarm on this failure for months and have demanded to make this program permanent from the start. And yet, Canada is falling behind internationally on this front:
New Zealand: minimum 5 days of paid sick leave, up to 20;
Australia: 10 days of paid sick leave;
Nigeria: 12 days of paid sick leave;
Vietnam: minimum of 30 days of paid sick leave, up to 70;
Switzerland: 3 weeks of paid sick leave.
More people are bringing COVID-19 home from work than ever before, and the consequences have been devastating, tragic and avoidable.
Instead of jurisdictional finger pointing, this broken system must be fixed and made permanent.
Canadians deserve better.