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The Ontario government extends two COVID-19 related worker benefits

Province extends paid COVID-19 sick days & ESA protections

Release Date: Dec 8, 2021

Worker Income Protection Benefit

The COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit, which provides up to three paid sick days to an employee for COVID-19 related reasons, has been extended to July 31, 2022.

This benefit covers leave taken for the following reasons:

  • Going for a COVID-19 test
  • Staying home awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test
  • Being sick with COVID-19
  • Getting individual medical treatment for mental health reasons related to COVID-19
  • Going to get vaccinated
  • Experiencing a side effect from a COVID-19covid 19 vaccination
  • Having been advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19
  • Providing care or support to certain relatives for COVID-19 related reasons

To date, over 235,000 workers have benefited from this program: staying safe and protecting others without losing pay. The average number of days being claimed per employee is two.

This entitlement is in addition to employees’ rights to unpaid infectious disease emergency leave.

Employment Standards Act (ESA)

A regulatory amendment to the ESA that puts non-unionized employees on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave any time their hours of work are temporarily reduced by their employer due to COVID-19, has been extended to July 30, 2022.

This amendment prevents temporary layoffs of non-unionized employees from becoming unwanted terminations, which can trigger costly payouts and force businesses to close.

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