The Ontario Government today will introduce the COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act, which would require employers to provide employees with up to three days of paid leave because of certain reasons related to COVID-19, including:
- Going for a COVID-19 test;
- Going to get vaccinated;
- Staying home to await the results of a COVID-19 test;
- Being sick with COVID-19;
- Experiencing a side effect from a COVID-19 vaccination
- Having been advised to self-isolate by an employer, medical practitioner or other authority due to COVID-19;
- Taking care of a dependent who is: sick with COVID-19; has symptoms of COVID-19 or is self-isolating due to COVID-19.
This legislation, if passed, would apply to employees who are covered by the Employment Standards Act (ESA). Independent contractors or federally regulated employees would not qualify for these days as well as those that do not already receive paid sick time through their employer.
If the legislation is passed, impacted employers will be required to pay employees up to $200 a day for up to three days. The three days would not need to be taken consecutively. Employees are not currently entitled to take this leave until the legislation is passed and the enforcement date is announced.
Employers will be entitled to a reimbursement from the Ontario government of up to $200 per employee day taken. Eligible employers would need to make their application for reimbursement within 120 days of the paid leave.
To learn more please click here.