Ten days of COVID-19 leave: Quebec must reject union request, CFIB believes

SME owners want the union’s request to grant 10 days of vacation to all employees who cannot telecommute to be rejected by Quebec due to the costs this vacation could incur.

Nearly 4,200 SMEs in Quebec have signed a petition to Labor Minister Jean Boulet to express their concerns, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) said Thursday.

A year ago, three union centers requested this number of vacation days related to COVID-19. However, according to the organization, this reason would no longer be valid.

“After more than a year without COVID-19 restrictions, the population has gone elsewhere. The demand for 10 days no longer has any place,” said François Vincent, vice-president for Quebec at the CFIB. “The estimated cost of such a measure would be too high for many businesses and counterproductive for Quebec’s economy.”

According to CFIB, this measure could cost between $7,833 for SMEs with three employees and $26,112 for SMEs with 10 employees.

Small and medium-sized companies would already have difficulty dealing with the labor shortage that has been affecting them for several years. This lack of available labor resulted in SMEs losing $19 billion in two years, the CFIB recalled.

“Move on [les propriétaires] Manage your place of business and avoid restrictive laws, additional costs and heavy paperwork,” added Mr. Vincent. “Labor Minister Jean Boulet must reassure SMEs and speak out publicly against this idea.”