Ontario extending paid sick days due to COVID-19 until March 2023

A women blowing her nose. Getty Images

The Ontario government says it will extend its paid sick days program for missed work as a result of COVID-19 until the end of March 2023.

The extension will last another eight months until March 31, 2023.

Eligible workers will continue to get up to $200 a day for up to three days if they need to get tested, vaccinated, get booster shots, self-isolate or care for a family member who is ill from COVID-19, the government said.

The government said it will keep reimbursing eligible employers for the paid leave days.

Read more: Ford government urged to extend paid sick leave amid COVID-19 wave

Earlier in July, Premier Doug Ford was urged to extend the program as it was slated to end on July 31.

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The provincial Worker Income Protection Benefit program was first introduced in April 2021 during the Alpha-Delta-driven wave of COVID-19 and extended amid the Omicron stage of the pandemic.

Since the program was implemented, government data shows around half-a-million workers have relied on the program to call in sick without interrupting their pay.

Previously, as of June 24, the government had said 470,000 workers have claimed a sick day, costing the province $189 million. The province said the bulk of the claims were made in the manufacturing, retail and health-care sectors, and the majority of which came from employees in Mississauga, Toronto and London.

— With files from Global News’ Colin D’Mello

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