Sick Leave Legislation Coming Jan 2022

Sick Leave Legislation to be implemented on Jan 1st

What it will look like and how it will work has not been decided as of yet, however, lets take a look at how we stack up against other countries.

Here in Canada – Only public service employees are legally entitled to paid sick leave. Under the Canada Labour Code, federally-regulated employees are entitled to unpaid sick leave of up to 17 weeks if they have worked for the same employer for three months, during which time their job security is guaranteed. They must produce a medical certificate if requested by their employer. Some employees may be entitled to cash benefits under the Employment Insurance Act.

While many private employers do offer paid sick leave and Employment Insurance will support those who are sick for up to 15 weeks, there is no requirement for employers to provide a certain number of days sick leave.

Which many countries currenlty offer paid sick leave?

At the time of writing, there are believed to be at least 145 countries offering paid sick leave, and 127 of these, offer one week or more each year.

  • Sweden– employees off sick in Sweden are entitled to 80% of their salary for up to one year.
  • Iceland– for the first 12 days employees are entitled to 100% of their pay while of sick, and after this they are entitled to sickness benefits for up to 52 weeks in every two year period.
  • Slovenia– employees are entitled to unlimited time off, all of which will be paid at a rate of 80% of their salary, unless the illness is work-related, in which case they are entitled to 100%.
  • Lithuania– paid sick leave can last up to one year and three months. All of this will be paid at a minimum rate of 62% of a salary.
  • Hungary– employees are entitled to one year of paid sick leave. The first 15 days are paid at 70% of their salary, and the remainder is between 50 and 60%.
  • UK– from the third day of sickness onwards, employees are entitled to sick pay for up to 28 weeks, at a rate of £95.85 per week. At the time of writing average weekly earnings in the UK are £471, making sick pay just over 20%.
  • France – employees are entitled to 90 days of paid sick leave, paid at a rate of 50% of your average earnings, or €43.80 – whichever is the lower.
  • Australia – Sick leave is deemed a type of personal leave under the National Employment Standards and full-time employees are entitled to 10 days’ paid personal leave per year. That includes sick leave and paid carer’s leave.
  • New Zealand – Most employees receive a minimum of five days’ paid sick leave per year after the first six months of continuous employment and an additional five days’ leave after each subsequent 12-month period. The leave can be used when the worker is sick or injured, or when their spouse or a dependant is sick.


As of June 2020, Countries with no requirement for paid sick leave at all

  • United States
  • India
  • Somalia
  • Angola
  • Chad
  • Georgia
  • Syria
  • Macedonia
  • Liberia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Mozambique
  • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

What will the cost be to small businesses of offering or not offering Sick pay?  This is the big question and the Government is still debating what that will look like.  By January 2022, we should have a better idea. 

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Resources and quotes were taken from the following resources.


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