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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Canada mandates paid sick leave for regulated businesses

At a VIA Rail station in Ottawa, Canadian Minister of Labor Seamus O'Regan Jr. announced 10 mandated paid sick days for people who work at federally regulated private-sector companies.
Photo – VIA Rail Canada Inc.


Canadian Minister of Labor Seamus O'Regan Jr. last week announced 10 days of paid sick leave is now a reality for workers in the federally regulated private sector.

Federal legislation and final regulations for medical leave with pay went into effect Dec. 1. O'Regan met with workers at the VIA Rail Canada station in Ottawa to mark the announcement.

The legislation is a significant milestone and a permanent change to the Canada Labor Code, federal government officials said in a press release. Having access to paid sick leave is expected to reduce the number of days employees work while ill and reduce the spread of illness in the workplace, they said.

Workers who’ve been employed for at least 30 days will have access to their first three days of paid sick leave as of Dec. 31. Starting Feb. 1, 2023, workers will acquire a fourth day of paid sick leave, then will continue to accumulate one day of paid sick leave on the first day of each following month, up to a maximum of 10 days per year.

The federally regulated private sector comprises workplaces in a broad range of industries — including interprovincial air, rail, road and marine transportation — that employ about 19,000. In Canada's rail industry, federally regulator private sector employers include railroads that cross provincial or international borders and some short lines.

The Canadian government announced the paid sick leave the same day that the U.S. Senate rejected a legislative amendment that would have granted U.S. rail workers seven days of paid sick leave as part of their contracts with the major U.S. freight railroads. The day before the Senate acted, the U.S. House passed a measure that would have mandated paid sick leave for rail workers.



Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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