Today, Ontario promised to provide workers with $1,000 per week for four weeks as part of a new benefit announced today, if the federal government follows through on indications it is open to doubling the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB).
In the meantime, Labour Minister Monte McNaughton announced today that Ontario was introducing legislation that, if passed, will provide three days of paid sick leave to Ontario residents who have to miss work due to COVID-19.
The legislation would require employers to provide workers with up to $200 of pay for up to three days if they have to miss work because of the pandemic. Employers could then apply to be reimbursed for the payments.
The program will be retroactive to April 19 and run until Sept. 25, the same day the federal CRSB expires.
"By providing time-limited access to three paid leave days, the province is ensuring employees can pay their bills as they help stop the spread of the virus, including by getting tested, waiting for their results in isolation or going to get their vaccine," stated a news release from the Labour Ministry.
The federal government has expressed a willingness to double the amount paid out through the CRSB, which currently provides $500 a week in payments for four weeks between Sept. 27, 2020 and Sept. 25, 2021.
Today, Ontario said it has offered to provide the additional $500 per week to the federal government so Ontario workers could receive $1,000 a week for four weeks, instead of $500.
Finance Minister Peter Bethenfalvy said since the federal government already has the infrastructure in place to deliver payments through the CSRB quickly, it makes sense for Ontario to top up that program rather than create a new one.
For more information on the paid sick days program, the province is recommeding employers and workers call the COVID-19 Sick Days Information Hotline at 888-999-2248 or visit Ontario.ca/COVIDSickDays.