Policy Options Podcast · PO Podcast 133 – Overhauling Canada's sickness and caregiving leave regime

Over the course of the pandemic, largely due to the increase in cases due to workplace transmission, there were calls to improve the current regime of sickness and caregiving leaves across Canada. Over a year later, almost all of those calls have been ignored. Federal, provincial and territorial governments had to enact emergency measures to address these serious gaps in the system.

Those programs will soon run out, and Canada will return to a mismatched system where the province you live in determines whether you have adequate access to paid sickness and caregiving leaves.

It is crucial that we re-evaluate this regime and create one that is beneficial for all workers, because when workers decide that they cannot take time off due to illness, the resulting costs are borne by both individuals and society.

In their new IRPP paper Eric Tucker and Leah Vosko examine international norms in comparable economies for sickness and caregiving leaves and what principles need to be included in a Canadian regime. They join the podcast to discuss the shortfalls in Canada’s current system and what the ideal system would look like for workers.

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Eric M. Tucker
Eric M. Tucker is a professor of law at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. He teaches and writes on a wide range of labour and employment law issues.
Leah F. Vosko
Leah F. Vosko, fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, is professor of politics and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair at York University. Her current research examines employment standards enforcement, sick and caregiving leaves, and access to rights and protections among migrant workers.

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