Prime Minister Trudeau
House of Commons
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
Northumberland Labour Council fully supports the recommendations of health providers and experts, like those in the Decent Work and Health Network, to immediately legislate 10 permanent paid sick days, plus 14 days during public health emergencies.
We are encouraged by your government’s commitment to legislate 10 permanent paid sick days in the Canada Labour Code within the first 100 days of its mandate.
To be effective, the paid sick leave policy must be:
- Adequate: 10 paid sick days plus an additional 14 during public health emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic
- Universal: all workers are able to access them with no exceptions
- Fully-Paid: employees must receive full wages on their regular paycheck for every sick day
- Permanent: no more expiry dates for sick days
- Seamlessly accessible: employer-provided with no proof of illness required and no waiting periods for the employees
“Access to paid sick days reduces the spread of COVID and helps workers who keep our economy going stay safe,” CLC President Bea Bruske said. “Workers have now suffered through four waves of this pandemic. It’s long past time political parties support paid sick leave for all workers.”
Alongside vaccination against COVID-19, enhanced indoor ventilation, physical distancing, mask requirements, and personal protective equipment, paid sick leave is essential to containing and defeating the virus and any future viruses.
As Bruske said, “Workers without paid leave protections have sometimes faced a terrible choice: go to work while ill, at the risk of infecting others, or stay home and lose pay or even their job. In a pandemic, no one should have ever been faced with this dilemma”. Workers must be confident that they won’t suffer reprisal when they’re too ill to come to work. This requires legislating paid sick days as a universal right for all employees.
One sick person can infect co-workers, who then can infect family members and any one else with which he or she comes in contact with. It doesn’t make sense demanding a sick person to work when it puts others at risk.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that everyone’s health and well-being depends on workers being able to stay home when they are sick. Stopping the spread of such a virus is vital for keeping businesses open, our economy stable and our citizens healthy.
Northumberland Labour Council
Additional information demonstrating wide support for paid sick days:
- Health-care workers demand Trudeau fast track paid sick-leave policy
- Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) President Bea Bruske welcomes the Liberal party’s election commitment to introduce 10 paid days of sick leave for workers falling under federal jurisdiction. Canada’s unions have been calling for paid sick leave from the earliest days of the pandemic.
- ONN has been advocating for paid sick days since the early days of the pandemic, (and even before then), as part of its Decent Work initiative. They strongly support the call for ten paid sick days so workers can adequately stay safe, recover, and protect those around them if they contract COVID-19.
- Employer-paid sick days are already a right of workers in most developed countries around the world, including a majority of OECD countries, because they strengthen the economy, public health and dignity for working people.