Toronto, November 26, 2021 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is concerned by today’s introduction of Bill C-3 in the House of Commons, which seeks to establish 10 paid sick days for all employees of federally-regulated businesses. This follows British Columbia’s announcement of five employer-paid sick days earlier this week.
CFIB urges the federal government and provincial governments to exercise extreme caution when imposing new costs on small businesses at a time when a majority are still not back to normal sales or out from under their COVID-related debt. Small businesses are already facing a significant increase in employer contributions to CPP on January 1, 2022, carbon tax increases in several provinces, as well as other increases in the cost of doing business, including supplies, shipping, and insurance.
Additionally, many businesses may be cut off from accessing any COVID relief due to higher thresholds to access the new wage and rent subsidy programs. If other provincial governments follow in the federal government’s footsteps by imposing employer-funded sick days without mitigating measures, many businesses will likely be pushed to the brink and could close for good, or be forced to cut down on staffing and benefits to absorb the costs.
CFIB urges the federal government to consult with small business owners and not impose this new cost. Small businesses simply cannot bear any additional pressure right now. If the government goes ahead with the Bill, it must find other ways to cut costs for small business owners, such as halting the increase in CPP and other taxes, balancing employer and employee EI contributions, and maintaining COVID support programs at their current levels and eligibility criteria so small businesses have a chance to recover.
-Dan Kelly, President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 95,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.