A joint statement from Halton’s four Mayors and Regional Chair to the provincial government continues to “urge immediate action” on a paid sick leave program in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The statement, which was released on Apr. 27, outlines concerns over the lives of Halton residents and emphasizes the importance of protecting essential workers and their families from “potentially devastating consequences.”
This is now the third call from Halton’s political leaders in as many months for paid sick leave, including last week as they stood with the recommendations from the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table for Ontario.
“There is no more time to waste in implementing paid sick leave,” read the joint statement.
“We are encouraged by recent statements from Provincial representatives to implement a program. We urge immediate action.”
The statement goes on to express concerns over the health-care system and economy, emphasizing the fact that they are both at risk.
“Entire workplaces are now being closed when there is an outbreak. The better solution is to provide sick pay for ill workers to stay at home, keep essential businesses running, and protect employees and their families from further spread,” read the statement.
The letter notes that the current Federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit program takes too long to be approved and falls below the minimum wage.
Additionally, it is only available for a week at a time and Public Health guidelines recommend workers self-isolate for 14 days from their last exposure before returning to work.
“This is now in the hands of the provincial government. It does no good to our community to see sick leave passed between levels of government like a hot potato. We are asking the Province to do what is fully within your powers and act now on paid sick leave,” concluded the statement.