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As of April 2024, the Ontario government is planning to scrap sick notes in an effort to cut down on paperwork for family physicians. This change will be part of the new legislation tabled by the Minister of Labour, David Piccini in the upcoming weeks. This proposed amendment will eliminate the requirement for a doctor’s note from employees who wish to use all three days of their yearly sick leave, as mandated by the province. 

What does this mean for employees?

In Ontario, employees who have worked for a minimum of two consecutive weeks are entitled to three days of unpaid sick leave each calendar year as per the Employment Standards Act. Sick leave can be used for personal illness, injury, or medical emergencies. This new proposed amendment aims to prevent employers from mandating sick notes for sick leave verification. However, employee attestation or declaration could still be required.

Will I be punished for not having a sick note?

In Ontario, employers are not allowed to penalize or threaten to penalize non-unionized employees taking sick leave. 

Limits on potential new legislation

Beyond the three days of entitled sick leave, employees could still be required to provide a sick note. Employees may have to provide another form of evidence such as an attestation or a receipt for over-the-counter medication. 

If you have questions in relation to the new legislation or have concerns in your workplace, we encourage you to reach out to employment lawyers, Sultan Lawyers, online or by telephone at 416-214-5111 today.


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