Ontario extends COVID-19 paid sick days till March end

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Amid the seventh wave fuelled by Omicron subvariant BA.5, the Ontario government extending COVID-19 paid sick days to March 31, 2023. The program was set to expire at the end of this month.

Eligible workers will continue to receive up to $200 a day for up to three days if they need to get tested, vaccinated, receive booster shots, self-isolate, or care for a family member who is ill from COVID-19. The government will continue to reimburse eligible employers for the paid leave days, provincial officials said in a news release issued Thursday morning.

On April 29, 2021, the province amended the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) to require employers to provide employees with up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave because of certain reasons related to COVID‑19. This entitlement is in addition to employees’ rights to unpaid infectious disease emergency leave.

The temporary benefit was introduced after the Doug Ford government faced growing pressure to bring in such a policy that would minimize workplace spread of COVID-19.

Opposition parties and other critics have been calling on the government to offer more paid sick days.

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