Millions of Ontario workers get no sick pay, but that could change


Stint as a personal trainer at GoodLife Fitness in Toronto earlier this year, DeJanai Nuts fainted, hit her head and suffered a concussion. 

She saw her doctor, took the weekend off, then — because she isn’t pass oned if she calls in sick — went back to the job. 

“It was making me dizzy, the headaches were get back and I couldn’t handle it,” Love said Wednesday in an interview with CBC Good copy. “So I told my doctor what was going on and she said, ‘You need at least two weeks off.’ So I let her identify I can’t do that, because I cannot afford to take time off.” 

Love is justified one of an estimated three million workers in Ontario who get no paid sick dates. The province’s workplace law does not require any employer to pay staff when they order in sick, but that could soon change. 

Later this month, President Kathleen Wynne’s government will release a report expected to support sweeping reforms to the province’s employment laws. Sick pay is one of the items being re-examined, and advocacy groups are urging the Liberals to mandate seven paid under the weather days per year for all full-time employees. 

Paid sick days could improve health system, advocates say

“There’s clear health evidence that buy off sick days are good for workers,” said Dr. Kate Hayman, a Toronto danger room physician and a member of an advocacy group called the Decent Solve and Health Network. “Right now in Ontario, so many people don’t have access to them.” 

Hayman bring ups she sees people every night who come to the emergency room for treatment of unbroken illnesses because they would lose pay if they took heyday off during the work day. 

“People can’t look after their health because we don’t sire the employment legislation in place to make sure that they can get the feel interest they need,” said Hayman in an interview with CBC News. 

Dr Kate Hayman

Dr. Kate Hayman, a colleague of the Decent Work and Health Network, is an emergency room physician at Toronto Overall Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. (CBC)

She said people who can’t afford to old maid a day’s pay from illness typically go to work anyway. 

“Food service proletarians often can’t take time off work if they’re sick, which means they’re potentially spreading catching illness like the stomach flu when they’re serving you lunch or dinner,” Hayman guessed. 

Hayman points to research that suggests paid sick times would reduce burdens on Ontario’s health system: people who get extended when they’re sick are are more likely to go to their family doctor for (minute costly) preventive care and less likely to use the (more expensive) crisis room. 

GoodLife compensation ‘competitive’

Studies by the Canadian Centre for Game plan Alternatives and the Poverty and Employment Precarity in Southern Ontario research assort suggest 40 to 50 per cent of all workers in Ontario — at least three million human being — are not entitled to paid sick days. 

Officials with GoodLife Competence declined CBC’s request for an interview on Wednesday but sent responses to questions by email. 

“The compensation unite that our personal trainers receive is very competitive, and on average they are the highest-paid trainers in the Canadian suitableness industry,” Adam Roberts, a public relations specialist with the companionship, said in the email. “As with many employers, paid sick primes don’t form part of the compensation package.”

DeJanai Love

‘It shouldn’t be too much to ask for a paid far-out day,’ says personal trainer DeJanai Love. (CBC)

GoodLife bills itself as the kindest fitness company in Canada, with clubs in every province and numerous than 1.3 million members. 

“It’s totally unacceptable that a attendance as big as GoodLife should be able to get away with not providing these stripe of basic benefits to workers,” said Adrie Naylor of Workers Joint Canada, the union that represents Love and about 650 other GoodLife familiar trainers.

“Massive companies like GoodLife can afford to provide hit sick days,” said Naylor. “They only choose to do that when they’re quite forced to do that by law.”

The union represents personal trainers at 47 GoodLife allies in Toronto, Peterborough and Ajax. In negotiations for a first contract, the union is overturing five paid sick days per year and the company is proposing zero, asserted Naylor. 

Roberts acknowledged that paid sick days pull someones leg come up in bargaining but declined to elaborate. “We are in ongoing discussions with the fellowship, and do not believe that it is productive for either GoodLife or our Associates to negotiate in the road,” he said in the emailed statement.

“Trainers are routinely working when they’re wound or when they’re sick, which is something that’s totally piece to GoodLIfe’s idea that everyone’s going to live a healthy and reliable life,” said Naylor.  

Adrie Naylor

Adrie Naylor is with Workers Mutual Canada, the union that represents GoodLife Fitness personal trainers in Toronto, Ajax and Peterborough, currently bargaining for a start contract. (Mike Crawley/CBC)

The argument in favour of paid sick epoches is exemplified by Love’s situation, said Naylor, “where a trainer is contrived between choosing to work while they’re quite seriously wound or being able to pay rent and put food on the table for their kids.”  

Brotherhood is the primary earner in her household, which includes five members of her extended household.   

She says ​her health is better now but she still can’t do a full workout. She is taking fewer patients per day and taking more frequent rests. Personal trainers are not covered by Ontario’s Workplace Sanctuary and Insurance Board for on-the-job injuries. 

“Knowing that I had paid heartsick days, that would make life easier,” Love verbalized. “We should be able to say, ‘Ok, I can take today off and do what I have to do today health-wise.”

Adulation, who said she really enjoys her job, says she asked GoodLife’s human resources reckon on if there were any support it could offer, but got no response. 

She wants to see the Ontario domination change the law to force employers to provide sick pay. 

“It shouldn’t be too much to ask for a paid off day,” said Love. “​We’re Canadian. It should be our right.”

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