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Designing paid and protected employment leaves for short-term sickness and caregiving

Income support Leave entitlements Welfare reform Caregivers Legislation Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted flaws in Canada’s income-support programs and job-protection laws for sickness and caregiving leaves. Federal, provincial and territorial governments had to enact emergency measures to address serious gaps in the system. With these measures set to expire, policy-makers should take this opportunity to permanently reform Canada’s sickness and caregiving leave regime.

When workers decide that they cannot take time off because of inadequate benefits or job protection, the resulting costs are borne by both individuals and society. All persons engaged in paid work should be eligible for paid and protected leave to cover both sickness and caregiving needs.

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IRPP Insight 38