Canadian workers will soon be entitled to up to 10 days of paid sick leave, according to the latest update from the federal government on Thursday.
Speaking at a press conference, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said that paid sick leave will become available for those who need it “where it is not already available.”
Freeland kept details to the minimum, but a more comprehensive update is expected soon.
The news comes four months after NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh first called for paid sick leave across the country.
The paid sick leave is part of Canada’s new Safe Restart agreement, which will see the government invest more than $19 billion dollars to help provinces and territories get back on their feet.
The rest of the money will go toward seven key areas, some of which include:
- personal protective equipment
- contact tracing
- COVID-19 testing
- gathering public health data
- support for vulnerable Canadian citizens (e.g. Canadians that struggle with their mental health or substance abuse, those in long-term care facilities or palliative care, homeless individuals)
- transit for people to get safely to work
Speaking at the press conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the multi-billion dollar sum will also go toward preparing for a second wave of the virus.
“The threat of COVID-19 will remain present as long as there is no vaccine,” he said, adding that a vaccine is “a fair bit away.”