Ontario government plans bill to help workers affected by COVID-19 pandemic

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TORONTO — Premier Doug Ford’s office says the government is drafting legislation that would remove employers’ ability to require sick notes for people in self-isolation or quarantine.

A spokeswoman for Ford says the bill would include a number of measures aimed at helping workers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ivana Yelich says it would direct employers to ensure protected leave for workers who have to take unpaid leave to be in self-isolation or quarantine.

Shortly after coming to office in 2018, Ford’s government repealed labour legislation introduced by the previous government that gave workers two paid sick days a year and banned the practice of requiring sick notes.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, who has been calling for such measures to be reinstated, says she wants the legislation to ensure people can take the time off work without losing a paycheque.

The government did not immediately say when the bill would come before the legislature, which is recessed for the next week.