On Thursday, November 19th, members of Health Providers Against Poverty joined a public rally outside Queen’s Park subway station, in an effort to draw attention to a campaign calling for paid sick days for all workers.

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Currently, employers in Ontario are not required to provide sick days by law. Consequently, too many workers are forced to go to work sick in order to avoid losing pay.

As the Ministry of Labour continues its review of employment legislation to change the Employment Standards Act, there is a unique opportunity to strengthen protections for all workers in Ontario. Health providers are calling for at least seven paid sick days, pro-rated for part-time workers, as well as removing the requirement for medical notes. The campaign is lead by 15 & Fairness.

“As doctors we provide care for our patients, and sometimes this also requires that we address the factors that affect health outcomes. Working while sick is a serious public health concern. The real solution here is to update the labour laws, so that no one has to choose between their pay and well-being.”

“Having patients with flu sit in a waiting room to get a sick note is neither a good use of their time nor our health providers’ time.”

– Dr. Kate Hayman, ER Physician