Saskatchewan Examiner

The Saskatchewan government has vetoed the opposition’s paid sick leave bill

The Saskatchewan government has shot down the opposition's paid sick leave plan.

Key Takeaways:

  • Members of the Saskatchewan Party government voted unanimously against an NDP private members bill that would have given Saskatchewan workers up to 14 days of paid sick leave.

Saskatchewan Party government members voted unanimously against an NDP private members bill that might have guaranteed up to 14 days of paid sick leave to Saskatchewan workers.

Members voted 39-10 to refuse Bill No. 606 — The Saskatchewan Employment (Paid Sick Days) Amendment Act, 2021, a second reading on Thursday afternoon.

In November, the measure was introduced.

Jennifer Bowes, an MLA from Saskatoon University, said it would provide “crucial support” to people who force themselves to go to work, as well as decrease workplace transmission.

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However, before the vote, Labour Relations Minister Don Morgan stated that his administration wants to “ensure that enterprises can stay viable,” citing the government’s recent vow to raise the minimum wage as a measure to ensure that people have enough money to get by.

“We decided the best way we could help them was to give them a raise for lower-wage workers across the board,” Morgan said.

“As we appear from the pandemic, we want to make sure there aren’t too many things that add to the burden on companies.”

Bowes responded that obligatory paid sick leave would assist more than only the province’s lowest earnings.

The Saskatchewan government has shot down the opposition's paid sick leave plan.
The Saskatchewan government has shot down the opposition’s paid sick leave plan. Image from The Star

“We know that over half of Saskatchewan workers do not have paid sick days, so it affects more people than simply low-wage workers,” Bowes explained.

Bowes also highlighted a paper from the Centre for Future Work, which concluded that 10 paid sick days would only have a 0.21 percent impact on corporate profitability.

“Part of that comes from people being able to come in rested and well, rather than demonstrating presenteeism, where they’re potentially working but unable to perform to their full potential,” she explained.

“When workers have adequate, decent working circumstances, turnover is reduced.” That report took into account a lot of different factors.”

Saskatchewan NDP members accounted for all ten votes in favor of moving the bill ahead.

Source: Global News

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