January 28, 2021
Today, the Region of Peel launched a public campaign asking residents to add their voice to the call for the provincial and federal governments to provide paid sick leave.
This pandemic has highlighted the fact that lack of access to paid sick days is a health hazard, particularly for low-income workers, contract and agency workers, those who cannot work remotely, and health-care workers, many of whom are considered essential but do not have access to paid sick days.
Without access to paid sick leave, many essential workers are faced with an impossible decision whether to stay home and face financial hardship or to continue to work and potentially infect others in their workplace.
Given the risks to their own well-being that these employees face, every effort must be made to protect their health and safety as well as their families, co-workers, and the public in general. Paid sick leave will help save lives.
Region of Peel Council has called on the federal and provincial governments to provide paid sick leave benefits in Ontario immediately. Residents in Peel are encouraged to visit peelregion.ca/paid-sick-leave where they can email their local MP and/or MPP and join the call for paid sick leave in Peel.
“Given the urgency of the current state of the pandemic, we cannot afford to wait to do more to prevent the spread of the virus in our community. We encourage residents to join the call on the federal and provincial governments to move forward to implement paid sick leave benefits, which are necessary to protect some of our most vulnerable workers.” – Nando Iannicca, Regional Chair, Region of Peel
“Insufficient paid sick days, financial/income supports, and sick leave protection are known barriers to compliance to COVID-19 control measures, including testing and self-isolation. Paid sick day supports for workers who have COVID-19 or need to isolate because they may have been exposed to the virus will help support workers to follow public health guidance and support our essential businesses to operate safely, reducing community transmission of COVID-19.” – Dr. Lawrence Loh, Medical Officer of Health, Region of Peel
Quick Facts/Additional Resources
- Peel’s incidence rate and per cent positivity has consistently been one of the highest in Ontario through much of the second wave. Of the confirmed community outbreaks in Peel reported between September and December 2020, 66 per cent have occurred in workplaces.
- Reducing COVID-19 transmission among workers will also help limit household transmission, which is often the result of introduction from a workplace exposure. This has the potential to effectively reduce the trend of high COVID-19 transmission.
- An analysis of Peel cases reported since August 1, 2020 found that of 9,000 COVID-19 cases who worked at a community workplace, approximately one fifth, or 1,993 cases, reported working while symptomatic.
- More information is available at peelregion.ca/paid-sick-leave