Friday, December 10, 2021

Paid sick days a necessity as pandemic continues

The provincial government can make a huge impact in the lives of New Brunswickers by enacting paid sick leave for all workers.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not ending any time soon and we’re amid skyrocketing cases, many of which are in school-aged children, paid sick days are a necessity.
While many unionized workers already have paid sick days, that is not the case with many non-unionized workers. Given the current rules regarding COVID-19, if a person tests positive or their child, they must begin isolation so as to not infect others.
Without paid sick days, this can be catastrophic for many New Brunswick families living paycheck to paycheck. It would also help with managing the pandemic.
Say a person has symptoms, but doesn’t get tested for fear they would miss work and be unable to afford their bills. Not having paid sick days puts this person in an awful position. How about a parent who can’t afford to take time off work if their child tests positive.
Businesses should support this as well as it benefits their operations. Would you rather have one person off sick or several making it next to impossible for your business to function.
Our government has resisted putting in measures to help workers during this pandemic, despite large surpluses. It’s time they stepped up to help New Brunswickers. Paid sick days make sense both from an economic sense and a health care sense.
Now we need our government to use common sense and make it a reality.