Even in the best of times, unpaid sick time is inadequate, but in times of a global pandemic, it becomes downright deadly. According to the MNP Consumer Debt Index, there are fewer and fewer families that can cope with life-changing events because they are living from paycheque to paycheque. Many families cannot endure a month without an income, due to bills, rent, food, and other necessities for survival.
Without paid sick leave, too many workers can't afford to stay home when they're sick, despite public health calls to do so. Meanwhile, escalating numbers of workers are losing their income as businesses and public institutions close or reduce service.
It’s safe to say that this pandemic is probably the most life-changing event of our generation and a lot of families do not have the financial cushion required to withstand the burden without government assistance. Unpaid leave to stay home and self-isolate when sick isn't helping! Workers need to put food on their tables and pay their bills, and too many cannot do this with unpaid leave.
Without paid sick leave, many workers are forced to go to work when sick to financially survive. If the government truly wishes to prevent the spread of this pandemic, we need to ensure it provide workers the means to survive while isolating.
Even outside of a pandemic, sick workers should be entitled to paid leave. It limits transmission of illness, enables proper treatment and recovery of the patient, and saves businesses the cost of unsafe working conditions. Simply put, it is an easy decision.
We demand legislated, employer paid sick leave that is implemented immediately and permanently. For the country to successfully weather the pandemic, and promote the health of its workforce generally, it must come to the realization that the economic stability of its citizens is essential.
Paid sick leave is not complicated.
I look forward to your response.