NDP wants workers sick with H1N1 to be protected

The Alberta Federation of Labour wants changes to provincial laws to ensure lower-wage earners would get paid sick leave and not lose their jobs if they’re at home ill with H1N1 flu.

EDMONTON — The Alberta Federation of Labour wants changes to provincial laws to ensure lower-wage earners would get paid sick leave and not lose their jobs if they’re at home ill with H1N1 flu.

Federation president Gil McGowan says employment standards codes in six other Canadian jurisdictions state that workers cannot be disciplined, demoted or dismissed for taking time off work because of short-term illness.

The Alberta code, McGowan says, doesn’t say anything about sick leave and if people are scared about losing their jobs, they will drag themselves into work and spread the virus.

He says workers whose employers don’t provide paid or unpaid sick leave won’t get paid or risk losing their jobs for doing the right thing by staying home when sick.

But Labour Minister Hector Goudreau says most contracts contain sick leave provisions.

He says he’s willing to meet with the federation and employers and “see where it goes.”

Goudreau also says this is an issue that employers and employees should have worked out by now.

“At this stage I’m not prepared to open up the labour code, but I’ll talk with the industry, and I’ll talk with employers and employees and we’ll see where it goes,” said Goudreau.

The labour group says Statistics Canada says 43 per cent of working Canadians do not have employers with policies that allow them to take time off when they’re sick.

Just Posted

Despite warnings, plenty of temptations to thieves left in vehicles

Lock It or Lose It campaign still finding plenty of valuables left in plain sight

WATCH: Notley invites central Albertans to “team up” with New Democrats for equitable, prosperous future

NDP leader lashes out against her rival, Jason Kenney, calling him a cheater

Red Deer sees highest rate of fentanyl deaths

47 fentanyl-related deaths in 2018

Why Solar: Canada needs to get its collective house in order

Canada needs to get a grip. The country has one of the… Continue reading

Gardening: Take care when making plant purchases

After a cold February, the longer sunny days and warmer weather triggers… Continue reading

Canadian pair fifth after short program at figure skating worlds

SAITAMA, Japan — Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro are fifth after… Continue reading

Director Kim Nguyen tackles financial ‘madness’ in ‘The Hummingbird Project’

TORONTO — As Quebec filmmaker Kim Nguyen tells it, “The Hummingbird Project”… Continue reading

What Disney gets as its $71.3B buy of Fox assets closes

It’s finally complete. Disney closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment… Continue reading

Opinion: Let’s be heard ‘loud and clear’ during provincial election campaign

By David Marsden During the banquet for Sunday’s Boston Bruins alumni game,… Continue reading

Documentary on Colten Boushie case to open Toronto’s Hot Docs festival

TORONTO — A film examining the case of a young Indigenous man… Continue reading

Most Read