Do employees who are required to look after their elderly or infirmed family members have the same rights as those with children?
Yes. The Human Rights Code protects discrimination against family status, which includes individuals providing eldercare for ailing parents. People who provide care to spouses with disabilities are entitled to accommodation based on marital status.
What measures has the Federal Government put in place to assist during the COVID-19 epidemic?
On March 18, 2020, the government announced an $82 billion aid/stimulus package of which $27 billion is intended to support individuals and businesses:
- Eliminating the one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits for a maximum of 15 weeks of benefits up to $573/week for individuals who are sick, quarantined due to coronavirus or asked to self-isolate by their employers. The government has also removed the requirement for a doctor’s note for this assistance;
- Small businesses have access to a 10% wage subsidy for 90 days, up to a max of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer;
- Introduction of an emergency care benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks for individuals who have to stay home and do not have paid sick leave or are ineligible for employment insurance and are ill, or are caring for a child or someone who is sick;
- Support workers facing unemployment have access to a $5 billion emergency support benefit through the CRA;
- Extending the tax filing deadline for individuals from April 30 to June 1, 2020, and deferring payments until after August 31, 2020.
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