Province looking to ban doctors notes for personal emergency leave

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ONTARIO-Ontario is proposing paid personal emergency leave for every worker, and banning employers from requiring employees to provide a doctor’s note for taking personal emergency leave.

Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour, and John Fraser, MPP for Ottawa South made the announcement today in Ottawa. “Through our Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Plan, we are taking the next step toward making sure that every hard-working person across the province can share in Ontario’s prosperity. Increasing personal emergency leave days will help workers protect their health, care for family members and help make ends meet. The onus shouldn’t be on a sick worker to have to make their way to a doctor’s office to prove to their employer that they aren’t well enough for work.” remarked Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour

If passed, these changes would be in effect on January 1, 2018, and would:

  • Expand personal emergency leave to include a minimum of 10 days, including two paid days, per year for all workers.
  • Ban employers from requiring a sick note from an employee taking personal emergency leave.
  • Provide a leave of absence of up to 17 weeks without the fear of losing their job when an employee or their child has experienced or is threatened with domestic or sexual violence

John Fraser, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long Term Care says “The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act will improve the health of all workers in Ottawa. The proposed changes will ensure every worker in Ontario will be treated fairly, allowing them to take the time needed to properly address personal emergencies and illness.”

Personal emergency leave currently applies only in workplaces with 50 or more employees. Under the proposed amendments, this threshold would be eliminated.

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