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Ontario to scrap sick notes: What employees need to know

To ease the burden on family physicians, the Ontario government is planning to scrap sick notes for short absences from work.

Currently, the province’s Employment Standards Act (ESA) allows employers to ask staff for a doctor’s note (as long as the request is reasonable) when they use part or all of their three days of provincially-mandated annual sick leave.

The Ministry of Labour has been examining a variety of alternatives, including:


  • A form that employees could sign to attest to their illness or disability

  • A receipt for over-the-counter medication


The change is expected to be part of new legislation tabled by Labour Minister David Piccini in the coming weeks.

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