Does your company offer paid sick days? They are now added on to the two paid Personal Emergency Leave (PEL) days recently granted by the Province.
I asked the MOL to clarify how they would interpret a claim from an employee regarding this issue and I was told that the existing paid sick days offered by the organization “count” as both an unpaid PEL day and a paid sick day from the Company.
Another important tip, is to not allow the use of vacation pay to “cover” the unpaid PEL days. These are separate provisions under the ESA and the new record-keeping requirements now require employers to track both PEL and vacation requests, pay and time.
This also raises the question of how to enforce attendance at work while respecting the new PEL provisions and restrictions on doctor’s notes.
Unfortunately, we now have a potential for conflict regarding “proof of entitlement”, as the PEL provisions state you can’t ask for a doctor’s note, even if your company policy might ask for one when using “your” paid sick day.
You can ask for “proof that is reasonable” for the paid PEL and sick days. This would include receipts from tow trucks, or for purchase of medicine at a pharmacy. Once the employee has used their entitlement of PEL and sick days, you can then implement an Attendance Management program which would allow for doctor’s notes and disciplinary provisions for excessive absences from work.