Mississauga mayor supports plan to temporarily mandate employer paid sick benefits

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The mayors from both Mississauga and Brampton are supporting a plan that would temporarily force employers to pay sick benefits to their own workers.

The idea was floated at a meeting of the GTHA (Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area) mayors and chairs (of regional councils) this week after calls for an Ontario benefit program was dashed by Premier Doug Ford.

Both Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown have been pushing for a paid sick benefit program for workers in the warehousing and manufacturing sector who have been hit hard by the coronavirus.

Many believe those with COVID-19 continue to work - thus spreading the virus - because they cannot afford to take the time off work.

The new plan put forward by the GTHA suggests the Provincial government mandate employers to provide sick pay for the required isolation period for those who test positive for the virus subject to reimbursement from federal emergency funds.

"I've been a broken record on this since November," Brown has said. "The number one source of transmission is industrial settings and these settings are exempt from the lockdown. When we look at what has been happening around the world, paid sick leave has made a real difference. We have to do this."

Brown said the government should step up and pay for the plan because many employers simply cannot afford to do so on their own, yet remain essential to Canada's supply chain.

Crombie said she has discussed the issue with Premier Ford who seems to be onboard with such a plan as long as the federal government buys into it.

"That is the preferred route," Crombie told insauga.com adding that Ford agrees this could be a solution to getting people to stay away from the workplace when they have the virus.

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