Employment lawyer on Ontario’s paid sick leave program

Headshot of employment lawyer Lior Samfiru to the left of the Global News logo, which hovers above a dark blue band across the bottom of the image bearing the Samfiru Tumarkin LLP logo.

Interview Summary

The Ontario provincial government has announced employees across the province will have access to three paid sick days in order to help those who have fallen ill, or need to isolate due to COVID-19. In practice, what are employees entitled to from their employers?

Lior Samfiru, an employment lawyer and co-founding Partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP joins Global News to answer questions and employers and employees could have regarding paid sick days.

Interview Notes

00:33 – What are employees entitled to in the new paid sick leave program? What are employer obligations?

The benefit provides 3 days of sick pay at $200/day. In order to be eligible to access these paid sick days, an employee has to take time off in relation specifically to COVID-19 and is following public health guidelines. An employer must provide these days to their employees.

1:55 – After 3 sick days are used, what options do employees have if they still need to isolate or get tested for COVID-19?

The federal government has implemented the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit for employees who have to remain home from work due to COVID-19. However, if an employee qualifies for the Ontario three paid sick days, they are not eligible for the CRSB in the same week.

3:00 – What are freelancer employee rights in regards to paid sick days?

The new benefit only covers employees and it currently does not impact freelance workers. Many employees don’t have a traditional employee and employer relationship but still need benefits.

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