Ontarians will continue to have access to paid sick days for absences related to COVID-19.  

In a press statement released on December 7, 2021, the provincial government announced that they will be extending the Worker Income Protection Benefit program until July 31, 2022.  

Ontario first introduced the program in April of 2021 as part of the COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act, 2021.  

The Benefit program ensures employees do not lose pay if they need to miss work for reasons related to COVID-19. Employees can continue to access this paid leave to get tested, vaccinated, self-isolate, or care for a family member. 

Should the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit be extended, a program that provides supplemental income to employees who are unable to work because of COVID-19 related reasons, workers in Ontario will have access to Canada’s most generous paid sick days program. The program ran from September 2020 to November 2021.  

“Nearly a quarter-million workers have already used our program, which is the first and most comprehensive in the country, for paid time off work,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.  

“Our government is working for workers and ensuring they have the support they need to keep themselves and their families safe,” he continued.  

To date, the program has helped over 235,000 people stay safe without worrying about losing pay. The average number of days being claimed per employee is two.  

In addition, the province is taking action to protect jobs and businesses by extending temporary changes to the Employment Standards Act that prevent temporary layoffs of non-unionized employees from becoming unwanted terminations, which can trigger payments and force businesses to close. This measure will now be extended until July 30, 2022.