September 4th, 2020

Paid sick time necessary to prepare for future waves of COVID-19

HALIFAX- The NDP Caucus is reiterating its call for paid sick days ahead of Labour Day on Monday.

“Labour Day celebrates the contributions of working people. Unfortunately, the Liberal government has done very little to improve labour standards in our province over the last seven years,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “In the ongoing pandemic and the resulting economic contraction, workers are being squeezed from every angle. It’s essential to the health of everybody that people can stay home when they’re sick.”

The provincial Labour Standards Code provides just three unpaid days of sick time for workers. A report released this week by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that the living wage in Nova Scotia ranges from $16.80 to $21.80 per hour.

“Too many people in our province are being paid less than they’re worth, often working two or three jobs or contracts to pay their bills. For thousands of people, this means they simply can’t afford to take an unpaid day when they’re sick,” said Kendra Coombes, NDP Labour Spokesperson. “Paid sick days would ensure that everyone is able to stay home when they’re sick and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The NDP Caucus will introduce legislation this fall to introduce 10 paid sick days for all workers in Nova Scotia.