February 25th, 2021
February 25th, 2021
QUEEN’S PARK — MPPs will debate the NDP’s paid sick days bill on Thursday, and Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath and MPP Peggy Sattler will call on all MPPs to agree to expedite the bill and make it law on Monday.
Sattler’s Stay Home if You Are Sick Act would give workers 14 government-paid days during a pandemic, on top of permanent paid sick days which would be embedded in labour law.
“We need to do everything we can to avoid more spread, more closed businesses and a third wave. Paid sick days is a big part of the strategy we need,” said Horwath. “Instead of putting money first, let’s put public health first. Instead of letting the variants spread, let’s adopt new protections to shut them down.”
Sattler (London West) introduced the Stay Home if You Are Sick Act in 2020. It’s scheduled to be debated at second reading Thursday afternoon – but Sattler will move a unanimous consent motion in the morning for all-MPP support to hold both the second and third reading votes on Monday. That would mean paid sick days could be in place for workers next week.
“No one should have to go to work with a cough or risk missing the rent. No one should have to work next to a co-worker who is coming down with something. And we should all have the confidence of knowing that all the people we encounter every day can afford to stay home when they’re sick. Workers without paid sick days are the people we have relied on most during the pandemic. They have cared for our seniors, served us food, cleaned our buildings, and bagged our groceries. Most folks want to do the right thing and stay home when they’re sick – but they shouldn’t have to take a pay-cut to do it.”
An estimated 60 per cent of Ontarians do not have permanent paid sick days, and that number is much higher among low-income workers, in sectors like food service, hospitality and retail, and among racialized or immigrant people.