The Government of Canada has introduced legislation for 10 paid sick days.
Seamus O’Regan Jr., the Minister of Labour, and David Lametti, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, introduced the legislation on Friday afternoon.
The legislation would amend the Canada Labour Code to provide workers in the federally regulated private sector with 10 days of paid sick leave per year.
“Canadians shouldn’t have to choose between staying home when they’re sick and putting food on the table,” O’Regan said.
“Paid sick leave will protect workers and their families, protect their jobs, and protect their workplaces. It’s an important step in the fight against COVID-19 and a necessary addition to the social safety net that organized labour has been advocating for.”
Officials said access to paid sick leave is “key” to Canada’s economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The federal government said it will work with provinces, territories, and other stakeholders to develop a national action plan to legislate paid sick leave across Canada.
Officials noted that provincial and territorial jurisdiction would be respected during the process, as would the unique needs of small business owners.
In 2019, the federal government provided federally regulated workers with three days of paid personal leave they could use if they were sick.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit assisted workers without employer-paid sick leave.
“Moving forward with 10 days of permanent paid sick leave would protect workers’ incomes, jobs, and health as we finish the fight against COVID-19,” officials said.