by Morinville News Staff
Workers will have up to five days of job protection a year for personal sickness or short-term care of an immediate family member if the government’s new Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act passes. Additionally, the Act would also allow for 16 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for long-term illness or injury.
“A guarantee of job-protected, unpaid sick days would give workers time to get healthy, and it would keep employers from worrying about ill workers spreading infectious bugs to others because they are afraid to take a sick day off,” said Christina Gray, Minister of Labour, in a release Thursday. “These proposed changes would make life better for workers and employers.”
Edmonton family physician Dr. Doug Klein said he often hears that patients are concerned to take time off work for illness due to concern that they will lose their jobs.
“This has been worse over the past year with the economic downturn here in Alberta,” Klein said. “The proposed government policy to ensure job security for those employees who are sick or unwell is an important social support initiative.”
The government says most Canadians have job-protected sick leave except for residents of Alberta, British Columbia and Nunavut.
Ontario residents have 10 days for personal and family sickness, Saskatchewan and Yukon residents have 12 days.
Both the Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code have not been significantly updated in nearly 30 years and are currently being revised through legislation.