As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Ontario government has announced the extension of the 3-day COVID-19 paid leave. This extension will currently run until the end of 2021 as new risks and information are being identified in association with the delta variant of COVID-19. Employers are to ensure that they are up to date with extended COVID-19 sick days to provide to their employees.
Originally, the 3-day paid leave for COVID-19 was set to expire on September 25th, 2021, however this has now become a new date of December 31st, 2021. This extension is in consideration of the delta variant of COVID-19 that has currently shown to have the ability to spread quicker and be more infectious.
This extension by the government of Ontario provides more time for workers to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations for both doses to ensure further protection from the virus. Currently 75% of Ontarians who are eligible for the vaccine are fully vaccinated, this extension of the COVID-19 leave aims to increase this number.
Additionally, the government of Ontario is working with federal resources to increase payment amounts regarding the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), to further support individuals during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As more individuals become fully vaccinated, employers should remain abreast of new developments and extensions provided by the government of Ontario regarding COVID-19. As Ontario operates during the fourth wave of COVID-19, employers should ensure that they are compliant with providing employees with the legislated COVID-19 paid leave to offer support during these difficult times.