Last week, Ottawa and the Provinces announced they had reached unanimous agreement on a $19 billion COVID recovery package. Part of this agreement included a temporary provision to provide for 10 days sick leave for employees who test positive for COVID, if the employee does not have an equivalent sick leave program in place through their place of employment. This will require each province to amend their current employment legislation and the sick leave benefit will be funded by both the Federal and respective Provincial governments.
The proposal for this sick leave provision was fueled in part by a number of employer groups and associations across the country. CFIG however, did not support this proposal based on feedback from members. As well, CFIG was concerned that while the sick leave measure was ostensibly temporary, once such a benefit had been provided to employees, it would become difficult to take it away. We saw a similar reaction to the end of pandemic pay bonuses by some grocers. Under this scenario, should a province decide to then make the change to employment legislation permanent, it would undoubtedly fall to employers to shoulder that cost.
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