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The Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program


On April 29, 2021, the Ontario Government amended the Employment Standards Act, 2000 to require employers to provide employees with up to three days of paid leave for reasons related to COVID-19. How long is the program available?

The Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program is retroactive, beginning April 19, 2021 and ending on Sept. 25, 2021 and provides access for up-to three paid sick days for certain reasons related to COVID-19.

Who is eligible for this program?
Three days of paid leave is available to Employees who:
 Are covered by the Employment Standards Act (ESA) (independent contractors or federally regulated employees would not qualify for these days)
 All employees are eligible, but these paid days are only available after April 19th once you have exhausted time under another employee benefit (Paid time, WI Days or Sick Leave Credits) for
the reasons outlined below and will reduce the number of days you are entitled to under the
Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program.

Reason for Absence Permanent Full-Time

Full-Time Long-Term Temporary (with 7 months of service)/Fire Services

Full-Time Short-Term Temporary/Regular Part- Time/Casual/Seasonal
Going for a COVID-19 test CGS paid CGS paid CGS paid Staying home awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test CGS paid CGS paid CGS paid
Being sick with COVID-19 WI/STD Sick Leave Income Protection Benefit
Going to get vaccinated WI for medical appointment Sick Leave for medical appointment Income Protection Benefit

Experiencing a side effect from a COVID-19 vaccination WI/STD Sick Leave Income Protection Benefit Having been advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19 by an employer, medical practitioner or other authority

CGS paid if exposure is work related. If not work-related WI then Income Protection Benefit.

CGS paid if exposure is work related. If not work-related Sick Leave then Income Protection Benefit.

Income Protection Benefit Taking care of a dependent who is sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19

CGS paid if dependent is being tested, up until test results received. Then WI
may apply.

CGS paid if dependent is being tested, up until test results received. Then Sick Leave may apply.

CGS paid if dependent is being tested, up until test results received. Then Income Protection Benefit may apply

Taking care of a dependent who is self-isolating due to COVID-19

CGS paid if dependent is being tested, up until test results received. Then WI
may apply.

CGS paid if dependent is being tested, up until test results received. Then Sick Leave may apply.

CGS paid if dependent is being tested, up until test results received. Then Income Protection Benefit may apply

Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program – April 19, 2021 to Sept 25, 2021
If I’ve already received paid time from CGS prior to April 19th (eg. WI Days, Sick Leave credits, paid time for testing, paid time to isolate), can I access the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program?
 Yes, even if you have already received paid time (eg. WI Days, Sick Leave, paid time for testing, paid time to isolate) prior to April 19 th for one of the reasons below, you can access the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program during the period of April 19 th and Sept 25th once
paid time as above has been exhausted. If I’ve already received paid time from CGS after April 19 th (eg. WI Days, Sick Leave credits, paid time
for testing, paid time to isolate) for the reasons outlined below, can I access the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program?
 Any days paid by CGS (eg. WI Days, Sick Leave credits, paid time for testing, paid time to isolate) for the criteria below will reduce your entitlement available under the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program.
 For example, if you have 1 WI day left and require 3 days off for one of the reasons below, you will use the 1 WI day first then access 2 days under the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program.

What happens if I only need a few hours off?
 Any period of time taken in one day counts as an instance and regardless of duration will reduce the statutory entitlement by one day.
 For example, I have a vaccination appointment booked and I only need 2 hours away from work, the 2 hours away from work will reduce the statutory entitlement by one day.

What is covered under the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program?
Unless any of the following are already being paid by CGS, paid leave is available for certain reasons related to COVID-19, including:
 Going for a COVID-19 test
 Staying home awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test
 Being sick with COVID-19
 Going to get vaccinated
 Experiencing a side effect from a COVID-19 vaccination
 Having been advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19 by an employer, medical practitioner, or other authority
 Taking care of a dependent who is:
o sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19
o self-isolating due to COVID-19

Do I need to provide a Doctor’s note to be eligible for the paid sick days?
No, a Doctor’s note is not required, but you may be asked for other types of proof reasonable in the circumstance.

Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program – April 19, 2021 to Sept 25, 2021

How much would I be paid if I must use one of the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program paid sick days.
You would be paid your regular hourly rate to a maximum of $200 of lost wages for each paid sick day based on the number of hours away from work.
 If your regular day’s wage is less than $200 per day, you would only be eligible to be paid your regular day’s wage. This does not include overtime, premiums, or other allowances.
 If your regular day’s wage is greater than $200 per day, you would only be eligible to be paid a maximum of $200 per day. This does not include overtime, premiums, or other allowances.

For example,
 If you make $24 an hour and normally work a 7-hour shift, you would be paid $168 per day for each day you qualify under this program to a maximum of 3 days.
 If you make $30 an hour and normally work a 7-hour shift, you would only be paid the maximum $200 per day for each day you qualify under this program to a maximum of 3 days, even though your regular day’s pay is $210.

Are these paid days under the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program considered eligible earnings under OMERS?
Yes, if you are an OMERS eligible employee and are approved for any paid days under the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program, the money you are paid will considered eligible earnings under OMERS.

How do I access these paid days?
If you are eligible for and meet the criteria for paid days under the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program, you can contact your Supervisor/Manager to discuss coverage.

How will days paid under the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program show up on my Pay Advice?
COVID ESA Sick Leave – To a maximum of $200 Your Timekeeper will need to enter this information from your timecard and will only enter the number of hours used.

Financial support for longer term absences For longer term absences, the Government of Canada currently offers the Canada Recovery Sickness
Benefit (CRSB). The CRSB is currently available until September 25, 2021. If an employee needs to take more than 50% of the time they would have otherwise worked, they can apply for this benefit.