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  • joanvanhilten

Bill 47 & Sick Leave

With the advent of the "new" Ford government there have been certain policy changes within the Employment Standards Act, 2000. (ESA)

I will address most of the changes in a series of blogs over the next few weeks. Today let's look at sick leave.

In 2001 the ESA had provisions for 10 unpaid sick days to allow a worker to deal with personal matters. Bill 148, which received royal assent on November 27, 2017 (meaning it became law) provided workers the right to Personal Emergency Leave or PEL incorporated the 10 days but with an added bonus of the first two days being paid and no sick note was required. When Bill 47 was given royal assent (remember that means it became law) the provision for PEL was whittled down from 10 days to three days, and an employer could ask for evidence, if reasonable depending on the circumstance. This means that an employer could for all intents and purpose ask for a note from your medical practitioner (i.e. Doctor, Nurse Practitioner etc.).

Not only did sick leave in Ontario change when Bill 47 passed but Bereavement Leave changed as well to two days per calendar year and Family Responsibility Leave is now three days per calendar year.

So all in all, substantial changes that felt like it happened over night and it was, and still is, quite a culture shock to employees, much like the hike in minimum wage for employers. The $2.00 hike was the new "shot heard around the world", or at least in Ontario.

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