Posted on Apr 26, 2021
Paid Sick to Protect Alberta Workers and Relaunch the Economy Sooner
We NDP is calling on the provincial government to make sure workers aren’t forced to choose between isolating with symptoms and providing for their families.
The proposal is to provide every worker with up to 10 days of paid sick leave for themselves or a dependent. An isolating worker would continue to be paid through their employer, who would be reimbursed by the provincial government. The plan would replace, and be partially funded by, the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit. The federal program only offers $500 a week for four weeks, and the application and processing times means a lengthy delay is getting the money to the worker.
COVID-19 numbers have been steadily growing for weeks and it's clear that more must be done to limit the spread of infection. There are more than 20,000 active cases and almost 600 Albertans in the hospital and ICU. One critical piece of limiting the spread is making sure people don’t go into work when they’re sick.
We must weigh the cost of a program like this against the cost of thousands more Albertans falling sick, hundreds more in the hospital and the ICU, and the broader economic damage of a lengthy third wave. That’s the price of doing nothing - Rachel Notley