Ontario abandons five-day isolation for COVID. Decision recklessly impacts businesses and workers.

Business members of the Better Way Alliance are disappointed with Ontario’s decision to abandon the COVID 5-day isolation period.

“There’s nothing worse than a sick employee – unless it’s your whole workforce,” says Better Way Alliance Director, Aaron Binder. “Our members understand that a healthy workforce is key to thriving businesses. Removing the isolation period will increase the likelihood of COVID spreading in workplaces and make already challenging staffing issues worse.

For months, businesses have been asking Ontario’s government to open eligibility for the Worker Income Protection Benefit to all Ontario businesses, reset worker eligibility, and make paid sick days permanent.

“We understand the need to move forward and ensure Ontario’s economic recovery – but a sick workforce will guarantee a slower economic recovery while increasing strain on our healthcare system and Ontarians’ mental health.” says Binder. “Additionally, thousands of main street businesses in Ontario are still ineligible for the government supported Worker Income Protection Benefit – paying for sick days out of their own coffers while international corporations benefit from government subsidies.

The majority of businesses in Ontario are still operating at reduced revenue from 2019 while navigating increased rent costs & loan repayments.  For businesses trying to keep their workplaces and employees healthy and productive, Ontario abandoning the 5-day isolation period is a reckless step in the other direction. BWA members and many other businesses with existing paid sick day programs continue to be ineligible for WIPB – adding another expense line to their already strained balance sheets.

BWA Quotes

“PeaceWorks Technology Solutions has always offered Paid Sick Days for all illnesses. When COVID became more of a concern, our staff were already able to take the time they needed.

This is important. When our staff are well-supported, they come to work healthy and ready to provide great service to our clients. Businesses need permanent Paid Sick Days to keep staff healthy so that we’re as productive as possible and they’re happy to work for us.” 

  • Ian Kelly, General Manager, PeaceWorks Technology Solutions

“Businesses in Ontario have had a hard enough time with increasing rent, loan repayments and reduced revenue. The likelihood of increased COVID and Flu spread means our province’s economic recovery will lag.  Businesses need healthy, productive workers. Whatever the illness – flu, COVID, a cold, the message Ontario needs to be forwarding is that workers should be staying home when sick to protect their colleagues.”

  • Lili Camacho, BWA Director

For comments and interviews, contact Aaron Binder.