If you are a regular employee and unable to attend work because of sickness or injury, the Short-Term Sickness Plan (STSP) in the Ontario Public Service provides you with income protection for the first 130 of those days in each calendar year.
The program is defined in Article 37 of your Collective Agreement. Protections such as the STSP are an important advantage of being a unionized professional.
Bargaining Unit: Ontario Public Service (OPS)
Collective Agreement Article: 37
First Published: August 10, 2020
Last Updated: September 29, 2021
Assuming you meet the eligibility requirements, you will receive 130 STSP sick days starting on January 1 each year:
the first six working days of your absence are at 100% of your salary; and
the remaining 124 working days of your absence are at 75% of your salary.
New full-time employees will receive your annual allotment of STSP days after you have worked 20 consecutively scheduled working days.
You have the option of using other accumulated credits (such as vacation) to make up the 25% difference in your pay while you are off on STSP.
While on STSP, your health benefits coverage and pension contributions will be maintained as though you were still at work. All deductions and contributions will be made as though you were receiving your regular salary.
If you started a sick leave in one calendar year and are unable to return to work until after the start of the next calendar year:
you will continue to use any remaining STSP days from the previous year until they have been exhausted (as needed); and
you will receive your new annual allotment of STSP days after you have worked 20 consecutively scheduled working days.
If you return to work on a temporarily reduced schedule (less than full hours or days per week) due to an accommodation measure or return to work plan, you will receive your new annual allotment after 20 consecutively scheduled working days on your modified schedule.
If your absence is longer than 130 days, and you successfully apply for Long-Term Income Protection (LTIP), you will start to receive LTIP benefits six months after your first day of absence from work, unless your STSP credits have not yet been exhausted, in which case LTIP benefits will begin once your STSP credits are exhausted.
Full-time fixed-term employees will accumulate 1 ¼ attendance credits (days) for each full month that you are at work (or while you are on vacation or on bereavement or jury/witness leave). If you are part-time, this will be pro-rated.
You can use these accumulated attendance credits as paid sick days.
While the OPS EASP does not automatically exclude disability-related absences for the purposes of attendance monitoring, the EASP must still be applied in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code. This means that if you have a disability, you must be supported and accommodated short of undue hardship where required under your Employer’s Disability Accommodation Policy.
When your Employer can ask for medical information or documentation
Except for extremely limited circumstances, you or your medical practitioner are not required to provide your Employer with the diagnosis of your sickness or injury that led to your absence.
Your Employer is permitted to ask for details on a medical condition as it relates to carrying out your job duties, along with information on any work limitations or restrictions which may apply when you return to work.
If you are away for more than seven consecutive calendar days:
your Employer may request documentation from a legally qualified medical practitioner; and
during an extended sick leave, your Employer may request periodic certificates from medical practitioners, including a prognosis on when you can return to work and any work limitations or restrictions which may apply when you do.
they may request medical documentation from a legally qualified medical practitioner, even if your absence is shorter than seven consecutive calendar days, at their expense. If this is the case please seek the assistance of an AMAPCEO Workplace Representative.
Workplace Representatives are trained union members who have volunteered to confidentially assist members like you in the workplace. They should be your first point of contact in seeking information and representation with an issue at work.
Your Workplace Representative may ask you to use the union’s secure web-based system, RADAR, to provide details about your situation. RADAR will help you and your Workplace Representative keep track of things without the privacy concerns that could come from using the Employer’s email system.