Yesterday, Bill 284, an act to amend the Employment Standards Act to include paid sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons received royal assent and is now in effect. The Bill is retroactive to April 19, 2021, and in effect, at this time, until September 25, 2021.
It should be noted that if you, as an employer, provide for paid sick leave that meets or exceeds the 3 days provided under this Bill, the employee is not eligible for an additional paid leave under Bill 248.
The list below outlines acceptable absences in the legislation, with the exception of going to get vaccinated. The legislation does, however, mention “control measures and the understanding is that getting a vaccine would be considered a control measure.
- Going for a COVID test
- Staying home waiting for results of a COVID test
- Being sick with COVID
- Going to get vaccinated for COVID
- Having been advised by your employer, a medical practitioner, or other authority to stay home because of exposure or potential exposure to COVID, or the effects of COVID* (like mental health)
- Taking care of a dependent for any of the above COVID reasons, or mental health issues related to COVID
Also included is the stipulation that if an employee takes a part-day of the paid sick leave, that will count as one full day. This is similar to what was included in the old Paid and Unpaid Emergency Leave.
The payment for sick leave under this Act is at regular wages, exclusive of shift premiums, overtime or any other premium that the employee might have earned had they worked the day that they were off.
The employer will be reimbursed by WSIB up to $200 per day per employee. You will be required to submit an application to WSIB, along with some sort of attestation on a Board-approved form, and verification of payment to the employee on a Board-approved form. This application for reimbursement must be made within 120 days of the employee’s absence. If denied for payment, there is no appeal process.
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