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Short-Term Sickness Plan (PHO)

Contents

Introduction

Eligibility

Regular full-time employees

Part-time and fixed-term contract employees

The Short-Term Sickness Plan

Absences continuing past December 31

Absences longer than 130 days

When your Employer can ask for medical information or documentation

If you are away for more than seven consecutive sick days

If you are frequently off sick from work

If your Employer suspects you are abusing STSP

What should be on your medical documentation

If your Employer requests an independent medical assessment

If you have questions or need assistance


Introduction

If you are a regular employee and unable to attend work because of illness or injury, the Short-Term Sickness Plan (STSP) at Public Health Ontario provides you with income protection for the first 130 days.

The program is defined in Article 35 of your Collective Agreement. Protections such as the STSP are an important advantage of being a unionized professional.


Eligibility

Regular full-time employees

  • Regular (permanent) full-time employees are eligible for STSP.

Part-time and fixed term contract employees


The Short-Term Sickness Plan

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 at 100% of your salary; and
  • the remaining 124 working days of your absence 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.

Absences continuing past December 31

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.

Absences longer than 130 days

If your absence is longer than 130 days, and you successfully apply for Long-Term Income Protection (LTIP), you will receive STSP benefits between the first day of your absence and the first day of LTIP.


When your Employer can ask for medical information or documentation

You and your medical practitioner are not required to provide your Employer with the diagnosis of your illness that led to your absence at any time.

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 restrictions which may apply when you return to work.

If you are away for more than seven consecutive sick 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 restrictions which may apply when you do.

If you are frequently off sick from work:

If your Employer suspects you are abusing STSP:

  • they may request medical documentation from a legally qualified medical practitioner, even if your absence is shorter than seven consecutive working days. If this is the case, please seek the assistance of an AMAPCEO Workplace Representative.

What should be on your medical documentation

It is often helpful for your medical documentation to contain the following:

  • the name, address, telephone number, and signature of your medical practitioner;
  • the date you were assessed;
  • confirmation that you were unable to perform your duties at work due to an injury or illness for the specified period of absence; and
  • the start date of your absence, and:
    • the end date of your absence; or
    • the expected date of your return to work; or
    • the date when you will be reassessed.

If your Employer requests an independent medical assessment

If you are frequently sick from work, your Employer may require you to undergo an independent medical assessment (IMA).

Before requesting an IMA, your Employer should have already received medical documentation from your medical practitioner.

If your Employer requests an IMA, please seek the assistance of an AMAPCEO Workplace Representative.


If you have questions or need assistance

Search for an AMAPCEO Workplace Representative at Public Health Ontario, and get in touch by email.

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.

Fact Sheet

Bargaining Unit: Public Health Ontario (PHO)

Collective Agreement Article: 35

First Published: August 12, 2020

Last Updated: November 23, 2020

Contact a Workplace Representative

See more Public Health Ontario Fact Sheets