Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh. (The Canadian Press)

NDP calls for universal sick-leave benefits as people return to work

Without sick leave, Leader Jagmeet Singh says people could bring the virus to work

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says all Canadians should have access to two weeks of sick leave benefits as provinces start moving to reopen their economies.

He says they will otherwise face an impossible choice of staying home to protect others from infection or being able to pay their bills.

He says the government should cover the sick leave though the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or the employment insurance system.

Singh says he will put the proposal forward as a motion in the House of Commons.

The federal government declined to include the proposal its unanimous consent motion today, but Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough says the federal government is in talks with the provinces about how they can deal with the issue.

In the meantime, people who have received no income for 14 days while sick with COVID-19 or while under quarantine qualify for CERB payments.

READ MORE: Health Canada approves serological test to detect COVID-19 antibodies

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