10 Paid Sick Days Now

Message to Doug Ford: Enough is Enough! We need at least 10 permanent paid sick days now! 

Take action to demand paid sick days now

Premier Ford’s Worker Income Protection Benefit (WIPB) reimburses employers for up to three COVID sick days per worker. But this program is far from what workers need because they are: temporary and expires on March 31, 2023; only available for COVID-related absences; and inadequate — only 3 days were provided for the duration of the entire pandemic. So far, at least 450,000 workers have accessed this program. We’re glad to know that nearly half a million workers were able to get some financial support for COVID-related issues. But these workers still have no protection for any other illnesses. And if they’ve used up their 3 days for COVID, they have nothing for any future COVID issues, including vaccinations.

To make matters worse, Premier Doug Ford’s COVID sick day scheme has transferred a staggering $189 million of public funds to private corporations. In every other jurisdiction where employer-paid sick days are the norm, the result has been savings for both employers and taxpayers.

Premier Ford has turned a life-saving and cost-saving public health measure into yet another handout for big corporations.

That’s because, under the Worker Income Protection Benefit (Ford’s temporary paid sick days scheme), there’s nothing to stop companies like Loblaws, Amazon, and McDonald’s from billing the government for up to three days whenever an employee takes time off for COVID -- whether they replace that worker or not! To add insult to injury, companies that were already providing workers with more than 3 paid sick days are ineligible for this financial support. Meaning, the Ford government is actually rewarding bad bosses who refuse to provide paid sick days even in the face of a global pandemic. And finally, by contracting out the administration of this program, Ford has handed a whopping $43.7 million to Deloitte -- one of the largest private consultancy firms in the world. This is in addition to the $189 million in claims. As it stands, Doug Ford’s COVID sick days scheme has redirected $232.7 million away from our public services to private profit.

Paid sick days save lives

Done right, paid sick days to save everyone money: workers, employers, and our public health care system. That’s why health providers and public health experts are calling on the government to enact meaningful legislation that ensures paid sick days will be: Employer-paid, Permanent, and Adequate - at least 10 days every year with an additional 14 days during public health emergencies� Let’s be clear: 42% of workers already have employer-paid sick days. � The 58% who don’t are more likely to be low-wage, part-time, frontline workers. And because of racism in the labour market, Black workers, racialized workers, newcomers, and all those facing discrimination have the least access to employer-paid sick days.

We know that decent work and wages are the foundation of a strong public health care system. Denying workers paid sick days and redirecting public money into private companies only adds to the unfolding crisis in healthcare. The overwhelming majority of Ontarians support paid sick days. But in order to turn this sentiment into a movement strong enough to make Premier Ford do the right thing, we need to get organized.