Open letter calling on the Ontario government to mandate paid sick leave

To the Ontario provincial government,

Paid sick leave is essential to protect workers and communities from COVID-19. At a time when public health experts, medical professionals and politicians urge us daily to stay home — paid sick days save lives. 

Yet across the country, around 90% of low-income workers don't have access to paid sick leave1. They are the workers who care for our seniors, prepare our food, and package our online orders — and the pandemic taught us they are essential. They are also disproportionately women, Black, Indigenous and other racialized workers2. But when they get sick, they have to make the impossible decision to go to work and risk spreading the virus, or stay home and struggle to put food on the table.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a significant gap in the province’s employment standards. We, the undersigned, representing over 70 businesses and organizations with more than 55,000 workers, call on the Ontario government to immediately close this gap and legislate 7 permanent paid sick days, plus an additional 14 days for public health emergencies — to ensure Ontarians can stay home to save lives.

If you would like to sign on to the open letter please click here to fill out a short form.