Posted on May 17, 2021
NDP BRINGS DRAFTS PAID SICK LEAVE BILL FOR ALBERTA WORKERS, DEMANDS LEGISLATURE REOPEN TO GET IT PASSED
EDMONTON — Alberta’s NDP has drafted a bill to be presented in the legislature to provide Albertans with 10 days of paid sick leave while the province battles the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is an effective public health measure that will save lives and help bring this pandemic to end,” said NDP Leader Rachel Notley. “We will happily work with the UCP members to pass this bill. We have done all the legwork, now we just need the UCP to show up.”
The Bill, titled The Employment Standards Code Amendment Act (COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave) would provide 10 days of paid sick leave to any Albertan who is ill or in quarantine. It would reimburse employers the cost paid out to employees for the time, and is a temporary program that would remain in place until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the two weeks that Jason Kenney has closed the legislature, 25,794 Albertans have tested positive for COVID-19. Alberta's active case count is more than four times higher than British Columbia’s.
“Today we should be inside the Legislature doing the people’s business and protecting Alberta families and businesses from the COVID pandemic,” said NDP Labour Critic Christina Gray. “The Kenney government is forcing millions of Albertans to go into work because they simply cannot afford to stay home and miss a pay cheque. Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia have all brought forward paid sick leave legislation to help people do the right thing and stay home.”
“Alberta workers need paid sick leave immediately, and we have it ready to go,” added Gray.
The Alberta Legislature spring session was put on hold by the UCP citing public health concerns, and will remain closed until after the May long weekend. During the original closure announcement, the UCP had said they intended to reopen the Legislature Monday.