REGINA - Today NDP Associate Labour Critic Jennifer Bowes introduced Bill 603, the Saskatchewan Employment (Paid Sick Leave) Amendment Act to provide paid sick leave for workers in Saskatchewan who have sacrificed so much during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve called on the government to listen to workers, doctors and public health officials who have all called for paid sick leave to keep working people, their families and their communities safe,” said Bowes. “The government has refused to act, despite the prevalence of workplace outbreaks as variants spread in Saskatchewan. That’s wrong. Saskatchewan families deserve better.”
Bill 603 would provide 10 paid sick days each year during non-COVID times and 14 paid sick days during the COVID-19 state of emergency. While these sick days would be the responsibility of the employer, the Saskatchewan NDP believes that the government should work with businesses to support these efforts in a way that does not unduly burden small and medium sized businesses during the course of the pandemic.
“Under this government Saskatchewan families, workers and businesses have had the worst of both worlds: over 500 deaths due to COVID-19, crowded ICUs and thousands of jobs lost,” said Bowes. “The Sask. Party government has failed to contain COVID-19, failed to protect workers and failed to protect jobs. Paid sick leave is a crucial tool in the fight against COVID-19 and we urge the government to work with us to pass this bill.”