NL Gazette

N.L. labour groups require 10 days of paid sick break amid COVID pandemic

Nfld and Labrador

key takeaways: 

  • Due sick leave policies often force low-wage workers into the workplace when they’re sick, labour leaders state. 
  • The workers demand 10 days of paid leave. 

Amid covid outbreak, workers need 10 days of paid leave: 

Labour groups are requiring 10 days of mandated paid sick leave for workers in Newfoundland and Labrador as thousands across the region are ill with COVID-19 or self-isolating.

The pandemic has laid bare a deep gap in income security for low-wage workers, states Mary Shortall, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour, and revealed a substantial public health threat that may contribute to the virus’s spread.

For almost two years, Shortall states, their requests to the regional government to execute paid leave have largely fallen on deaf ears.

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NL labour operators demand 10 days of paid leave due to sickness

“We had originally asked for paid sick days in an emergency simply because it was happening so much,” Shortall stated, recalling isolation conditions in the before days of the pandemic. “They take it under advisement, but we’re not noticing any action on that.” Source –

About 50,000 low-wage workers in the region are acutely sensitive to earning losses from taking time off without income, she stated, adding the policy often forces those workers to go to work when sick.

“They can’t afford to stay home,” she stated. Source –

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