The Ontario Government's Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs plans announced that all workers would be given 10 personal emergency leave days a year, and a minimum of two of those days must be paid. The Changing Workplaces Review does not recommend extending paid sick leave to all employees, with the advisers saying it would be beneficial but extending personal emergency leave to all employees is a more important first step. Currently, personal emergency leave is mandatory only from employers with 50 or more employees, and can be used for illness, injury, or urgent matters, such as the employee's babysitter calling in sick.
The extension of Personal Emergency Leave and paid sick days to employers with less than fifty employees would be detrimental to small businesses. All of these changes will have compounding costs which the government has not yet fully understood. That is why we have called on the government to conduct a comprehensive economic impact analysis. This analysis should have clear acceptability thresholds, and the reforms implemented should be limited to those that pass such thresholds or are being implemented with a commensurate economic offset measure, in order to help businesses transition into any regulatory changes.
An economic impact analysis is the only way that the Government of Ontario can protect jobs and workers against the unintended consequences that may come as a result of implementing these recommendations.