PROVINCIAL UPDATE: Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit

Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit 

On April 28, 2021, Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton stated that the province has offered to provide funding to the federal government to double the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit payments. If this is approved this new additional provincial funding workers could now receive a total of $1,000 a week for four weeks. The provincial government would provide $500-per-week top-up to the current $500-per-week ($450 after taxes) through Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit CRSB.

The Ontario Government is also introducing the COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act. Ontario is the only province in Canada, to introduce paid sick days, specific to COVID-19. If this is passed, all workers will soon have access to three paid sick days. The proposed Ontario COVID-19 Worker Protection Benefit Program will pay up to $200 per day for workers who are sick, have symptoms, have a mental health issue or need to be vaccinated, and the program will be retroactive to April 19, 2021. This will be a temporary program ending in September 2021. The sick days can only be used one at a time and no sick note is required. The Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program, would be administered by the WSIB and the provincial government will reimburse 100 per cent of the employee’s wage for up to $200 a day for three days.

However, no other information has been announced and currently, this bill is waiting to be tabled, and until legislation is passed nothing will be in effect. 

Ontario has already passed legislation that protects workers’ jobs if they can’t work due to a COVID-19 diagnosis.

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