Provincial paid sick leave program will continue

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Ontario will extend a temporary sick leave program for workers until the end of this year.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton announced Tuesday that the pandemic program set to expire on Sept. 25 would be extended to Dec. 31.

He said the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant prompted the move, to give more time for people to get vaccinated and support infected workers.

The province introduced three paid days of sick leave in April to accommodate self-isolation requirements during the pandemic, reimbursing employers up to $200 per day for what they pay out.

Critics, however, have panned the policy as insufficient to effectively curb the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces.

Opposition parties noted at the time that three days falls short of the 10 to 14 days health officials recommend for self-isolation when infected with COVID-19.