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Ontarians May No Longer Have To Provide A Sick Note To Self-Isolate Soon

The legislation would help allow Ontarians to take time off due to COVID-19

With the number of COVID-19 cases growing in Ontario, Ford's government has put forth new legislation to protect workers who are affected by the pandemic. If passed, this legislation will immediately secure the jobs of those who are forced to take coronavirus sick leave. It will also allow Ontarians to no longer need a sick note if they are self-isolating. 

According to the Ontario Government press release, if this new legislation is passed, these new rules would apply from January 25, 2020, which was the date the first presumptive COVID-19 case was confirmed in the province. 

"While everyone's concerns about their health and safety is top of mind, the last thing we need is anyone worrying about job security as the COVID-19 situation evolves," said Premier Ford in the news release. "That's why I directed the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development to draft legislation that will protect workers and their families during this difficult period."Currently, the legislation has not yet passed as it was introduced to the public on Monday afternoon.

The proposed new bill would protect workers who are unable to work for COVID-19 specific reasons. This means that people who need to provide care to a person for reasons relating to the coronavirus, including school and daycare closures, will also be able to take time off the job. 

"Mothers and fathers who need to care for children or dependants shouldn't have to worry about losing their job," said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.Employees will also not be required to have a doctor's note if they become ill. 

Other reasons that Ontarians can take job-protected sick leave would be if they themselves are in quarantine, or if they are under medical investigation. 

The release also states that "many workers will be eligible for Employment Insurance sickness benefits".

"These job protections could also contribute significantly to limiting the spread of COVID-19," said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance.

"We are giving everyone the tools they need to put their health and the health of others first, without fear of losing their jobs."