Coteau plans to introduce ‘ten paid sick days’ bill

Michael Coteau

Ontario Liberal Labour Critic and MPP for Don Valley East, Michael Coteau, says when the Ontario Legislature returns on February 16, he plans to introduce a Private Members’ Bill that, if passed, would mandate that every worker receive ” ten paid sick days.”

“A consensus is emerging amongst health care professionals and other experts on the importance of ten paid sick days––especially during a public health crisis like the one we’re facing,” Coteau noted.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen the consequences of what happens when people aren’t able to stay home when they are sick. People need to have confidence that when they stay home to protect others, they will be paid,” said Coteau.

If passed, this bill would provide up to 10 paid days of leave per year for personal illnesses, injuries or medical emergencies and illnesses, injuries, medical emergencies and certain urgent matters experienced by specified family members.

“Just 10 percent of service industry front-line workers like taxi drivers, cashiers and servers have access to any paid sick leave. Many of these Ontarians do not have the means to get by for two weeks without pay and must make a difficult choice. Ontario Liberals do not believe that workers should have to choose between staying home when they are sick, and putting food on the table or paying rent,” Coteau stated.

Just two years ago, the Premier decided that Ontarians did not need paid sick days and repealed legislation that the previous government had passed, said a news release from Coteau’s office

“Despite the Premier’s bluster, he has inexplicably refused to acknowledge the importance of paid sick days. This legislation is simple, straightforward, and, if passed, would be good for public health and all Ontarians,” Coteau added.