Proposed amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 introduced by the COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act, 2021, received Royal Assent April 29, 2021. Accordingly, provincially regulated employers in Ontario are required to provide employees with up to 3 days’ paid leave for COVID-19 related reasons which include:
- COVID-19 testing
- Isolating while waiting for test results
- Illness due to COVID-19
- Vaccination appointments
- Side effects from the vaccination
- Self-isolation due to COVID-19 mandated by an employer, medical practitioner, or other authority
- Care of a dependent who is sick with COVID-19, has symptoms of COVID-19 or is required to self-isolate
Employees who receive an equal or greater entitlement to paid sick leave are not eligible for the sick leave benefit. Where an employee is eligible for the benefit, employers are required to pay employees up to $200.00 per day for each of the 3 sick days. Employers can apply for reimbursement from the Ontario Government for amounts paid to the employee.
Sick days do not have to be taken consecutively and employers cannot mandate a medical note as a condition of eligibility.
The sick leave is available through to September 25, 2021 and is retroactive to April 19, 2021. Employees wishing to be paid for sick days between April 19, 2021 and April 29, 2021 must advise their employer in writing before May 14, 2021.
We remain committed to supporting our clients with timely communication of details as they become known. We are available to answer your questions and provide assistance specific to your workplace. Please contact us at 905-641-1551.