Federal legislation doesn’t cover sick days for all Canadians.
Amid growing fears related to the spread of the novel coronavirus, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has called for national paid sick days in Canada. Just hours after the Prime Minister released his $1 billion plan to combat COVID-19, Singh accused the Liberals of failing to help “60% of workers.” This comes as cases of the virus continue to be diagnosed in the country.

On Wednesday morning, Justin Trudeau confirmed in a press conference that the federal government would be assigning more than $1 billion to help combat COVID-19.

The plan included allocating funding to research, local health services, and provincial healthcare systems, as well as changes to Employment Insurance (EI) for those who get sick.

However, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is calling on the government to go one step further, and ensure all Canadians are able to get paid time off if they become unwell with COVID-19.

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In a tweet just hours after Trudeau’s press conference, the NDP Leader wrote, “The majority of workers – 60% – won’t be helped by today’s Liberal announcement on COVID19.”

He went on, “Other countries have found a way to give people paid sick leave so they can stay home,” before concluding, “Canada must do better.”

Currently, the paid sick leave that workers are entitled to depend on their job, their employment status, whether they’re part of a union, and which region of Canada they live in.

While the federal government continues to advise Canadians to stay home and self-isolate if they are sick, there’s no existing federal legislation to ensure they’ll definitely be paid for this time off.

According to Global News, those who become ill should be able to claim benefits, but it’s not so simple for those who need to be quarantined but are not actually unwell.

It’s also more complicated for those working on freelance contracts, those with more than one job, and those who have irregular working hours.

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