April 30th, 2021

Liberal government must provide sick days for all workers now

HALIFAX -- As Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 cases continue to rise the Liberal government should implement paid sick days for all workers immediately.

“As the province deals with community spread and the third wave of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, the Premier should do the right thing and ensure every worker can afford to stay home if they’re sick,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “Adding paid sick days into the Labour Standards Code is the best way to ensure this public health goal is met."

This week, Ontario announced it would provide some paid sick leave for workers. The Canadian Medical Association and doctors across the country have been calling for paid sick days as a key policy to prevent serious COVID outbreaks from spreading.

While some workers have paid sick days, many do not, including some health care and child care workers.

“Early childhood educators are responsible for the safety of every child and family that comes to our centres. Right now we feel as though we are not being given the opportunity to protect ourselves and the rest of our daycares as well as we should,” said Leanne Partridge, an ECE in the Halifax Regional Municipality. “Unfortunately, due to the fact that most ECEs are paid minimum wage to 18 dollars an hour, many of us just cannot afford to take time off when we are ill or want to get a COVID test.”

Workers in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland are all entitled to at least 7 days of paid leave.