February 11, 2020

Coronavirus and flu: We need 7 paid sick days NOW!

Since the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Canada, the advice from public health officials has been clear: stay home if you are sick. But, for millions of Ontario workers who had their paid sick days taken away by the Ford government just one year ago, this is not an option. 

Without the critical protection provided by paid sick days, the fear of the virus is spreading faster than the virus itself. The panic and misinformation is especially fanning racism and xenophobia, putting the livelihood of workers at Chinese Canadian establishments at risk.

Today, in a Toronto Star exclusive, health providers are calling for emergency government action to protect workers and the public. Click here to read and share the full story.

We need real government leadership to:

  • Implement 7 paid sick days for all workers!
    No one should be forced to make the impossible choice between paying rent and staying home when sick without pay. Lack of paid sick days means we force millions of workers into an impossible situation, and place them and the health of their families at risk.
  • End the requirement for workers to submit doctor’s notes when they use sick days.
    At this time of over-crowding, Ontario’s health care system does not need those suffering from colds and flu to be filling emergency or clinic waiting rooms, risking complications for themselves or contagion for others. Sick notes are a costly barrier to workers needing sick days, and a burden on our health care system.
  • Create an emergency, non-repayable funding package for workers experiencing loss of income due to the direct or indirect consequences of coronavirus.
    During the SARS crisis, we saw how workers in the service, health, grocery, and hospitality sectors were particularly hard hit by misinformation and racism. This meant job loss or reduced hours at work. All levels of government must come together to create this emergency fund to protect workers, especially Chinese Canadians who are being disproportionately affected.
Shareable - Bring back paid sick days!Click here to read full text of the open letter.

After taking office, the Ford government wasted no time in scrapping our paid sick days and reducing up to 10 job-protected sick days to 3, despite majority public opposition and against the advice of medical professionals.

Now, with the safety of our communities on the line, Premier Ford must act just as quickly to bring back the public health tools we need to protect us.

Ontarians deserve nothing less.