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Ontario to introduce paid COVID-19 leave

April 29, 2021   Maryam Farag

Monte McNaughton, Minister, 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 September 25, the date the CRSB will expire.

“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 signaled 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 has offered to provide funding to the federal government to double CRSB payments to Ontario residents, adding $500 per week to eligible individuals for a total of $1,000 per week.

“The government of Canada and Ontario have done a historic job delivering the Safe Restart Agreement last year. 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,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister, Finance and President, Treasury Board.

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If an eligible worker learns that they must isolate for longer than 50 per cent of the time they would have otherwise worked for the week, whether because of a positive COVID-19 test or risk of exposure, they may apply for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit if they have not taken a paid leave day under this proposal.