January 21st, 2021
Singh says workers need paid sick leave to keep communities safe from COVID-19
OTTAWA – During this pandemic, too many Canadians are forced to choose between going to work sick or going without income and staying home. In the last few weeks, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has consulted health care experts, workers, provincial and municipal counterparts on the importance of sick leave to stop the spread of COVID-19. Singh has called on the Liberal government to make it easier for people to access the sick leave program and get help more quickly.
"It doesn’t make sense to tell people to stay home when they are feeling sick with no income to fall back on," said Singh. "People still have bills to pay, they still have rent to pay, and they still need to put food on the table. The Liberal government must protect workers and let them know that they don’t have to sacrifice their livelihood to keep their co-workers safe from the spread of the virus."
Last week, Singh wrote to Prime Minister Trudeau imploring him to improve the shortcomings of the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit so that every worker has the support they need to comply with public health guidelines. Reports have shown that a large portion of COVID-19 transmissions come from workplaces, partially because many workers don’t have access to paid sick days.
"No worker should feel stuck when they are feeling unwell to go to work," said Singh. "We need everyone on board to fight this pandemic, and that means making sure the tools are available for people to make informed choices to protect themselves, their family, co-workers and community."