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Disclaimer: The information contained herein is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or an opinion on any issue.  Users are advised to seek legal advice from their legal counsel prior to taking (or omitting to take) any action based on the information contained herein.  While we periodically review and update the information contained herein, we do not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information contained herein and the information should not be relied upon as accurate, timely or fit for any particular purpose. This information was constructed on October 15th 2018.

Introduction

In this section we’ve gathered information on Canadian Sick and Medical leave regulations which includes the following:

  • Sick Leave
  • Critical Illness Leave
  • Long-term Leave injury or illness
  • Organ Donation Leave
  • Compassionate Care Leave
  • Family Responsibility Leave

Not all apply to each province, select the province you are searching for in the left-hand side and scroll down to find the different regulations.

What are Federally Regulated Employees entitled to in terms of Sick/Medical Leave in Canada?

Federally Regulated Employees include the following

If you are employed by one of the following businesses and industries, you are more than likely working in a federally regulated sector:

  • banks
  • marine shipping, ferry and port services
  • air transportation, including airports, aerodromes and airlines
  • railway and road transportation that involves crossing provincial or international borders
  • canals, pipelines, tunnels and bridges (crossing provincial borders)
  • telephone, telegraph and cable systems
  • radio and television broadcasting
  • grain elevators, feed and seed mills
  • uranium mining and processing
  • businesses dealing with the protection of fisheries as a natural resource
  • many First Nation activities
  • most federal Crown corporations
  • private businesses necessary to the operation of a federal act

 

Federally regulated employees are entitled to unpaid leave, except bereavement leave which is paid.

Sick leave

The employee is entitled to sick leave protection of up to 17 weeks if they have worked for the same employer for at least three consecutive months. The employee must provide a medical certificate if their employer requests one—in writing—within 15 days of the return to work. [Division XIII]

Leave for work-related illness and injury

No employer shall dismiss, suspend, lay off, demote or discipline an employee because of absence from work due to work-related illness or injury.

Employers must subscribe to a plan that will replace the wages for this kind of leave at a rate equivalent to that provided by provincial or territorial workers' compensation in the province where the employee lives.

Subject to the regulations, the employer shall where reasonably practicable, return an employee to work after the employee’s absence due to work-related illness or injury.

[Division XIII.1]

Long-term disability plans

An employer has the option of providing long-term disability benefits to its employees to protect them against the possibility of income loss due to a medical event that would make an employee unable to work for an extended period of time.

[Division XIII.2]

 Leave related to critical illness

An employee, who is a family member of a critically ill child or adult is eligible to take up to 37 weeks of leave to provide care or support to the child and up to 17 weeks of leave to provide care or support to the adult. 

Leave related to critical illness is to resume immediately after the other leave ends, but cannot extend beyond 52 weeks after the leave commenced.

[Division VII, 206.4]

Interruption of leave related to critical illness for other leaves

It is possible for an employee to interrupt their leave related to critical illness in order to take sick leave or work-related illness and injury leave.

Leave related to critical illness is to resume immediately after the other leave ends, but cannot extend beyond 52 weeks after the leave commenced.

[Division VII, 207.02 (1)]

Compassionate care leave

An employee can take up to 28 weeks of compassionate care leave to look after a family member who is gravely ill.

This leave of absence can be shared by two or more employees when looking after the same family member, but the total amount of leave taken by all cannot equal more than 28 weeks within the 52-week period.

Interruption of compassionate care leave for other leaves

It is possible for an employee to interrupt their compassionate care leave in order to take sick leave or work-related illness and injury leave.

Compassionate care leave is to resume immediately after the other leave ends, but cannot extend beyond 52 weeks after the day on which the leave commenced.

For general information, please consult Compassionate care leave (Publication 5A - Labour standards).

Alberta

Leave related to critical illness

Employees are eligible for critical illness leave if they have been employed at least 90 days with the same employer.

Eligible employees can take time off work without pay without risk of losing their job

Employers must grant critical illness leave to eligible employees and give them their same, or equivalent, job back when the employee returns to work.

Employers aren’t required to pay wages or benefits during this leave, unless stated in an employment contract or collective agreement.

Employees who take a leave due to the critical illness of a family member are considered to be continuously employed for the purposes of calculating years of service.

Eligibility

Employees are eligible for this leave if they have been employed at least 90 days with the same employer and are a family member of a critically ill child or adult.

Employees with less than 90 consecutive days of employment may still be granted this leave. However, their employers aren’t required under employment standards legislation to grant them leave or reinstate them after their leave ends.

If more than one family member of the same critically ill child or adult is employed by the same employer, the employer is not required to grant this leave for more than one of the employees at the same time.

Who’s considered a family member

All of the following are considered family members.

Employee’s family members:

  • Spouse, adult interdependent partner or common-law partner
  • Children (and their partner/spouse)
  • Current or former foster children (and their partner/spouse)
  • Current or former wards
  • Parents, step-parents and/or current or former guardians (and their partner/spouse)
  • Current or former foster parents
  • Siblings, half-siblings, step-siblings (and their partner/spouse)
  • Grandchildren, step-grandchildren (and their partner/spouse)
  • Grandparents, step-grandparents
  • Aunts, uncles, step-aunts, step-uncles (and their partner/spouse)
  • Nieces, nephews (and their partner/spouse)
  • A person the employee isn’t related to but considers to be like a close relative
  • Family members of employee’s spouse, common-law or adult interdependent partner:
  • Children (and their partner/spouse)
  • Current or former wards
  • Parents, step-parents, foster parents
  • Sibling, half-sibling, step-sibling
  • Grandparents
  • Grandchildren
  • Aunts, uncles
  • Nieces, nephews

Critically ill child

Critical illness leave for a child allows an employee that’s a parent or family member to provide care or support to a child under the age of 18.

More than one critically ill child

If more than one child of the eligible employee is critically ill as a result of the same event, the period the employee may take critical illness leave:

  • begins the earlier of:
    • the start date of when the child requires care or support
    • the day the leave began if it started before a medical certificate was issued
  • ends the earliest of:
    • the last day of the work week the last of the critically ill children dies
    • the end of the 36-week period following the date the leave began
    • the end date listed on the medical certificate of when the child requires care or support
    • the last day of the work week the employee ceases to provide care or support to the last of the critically ill child

Length of leave

An eligible employee can take up to 36 weeks for the critical illness of a child. The number of weeks of leave exceeds the Employment Insurance benefit length by one week in recognition of the waiting period. Employees should be aware of this before taking their leave.

Critical illness leave may be taken in more than one period, but each period has to be at least one week long.

After the leave is completed, and if the child is still critically ill and care is required, the employee may request the leave again.  However, a new medical certificate must be provided.

The leave ends on the earliest of the following occurrences:

  • the last day of the work week in which the child named in the medical certificate dies
  • 36 weeks after from the day the leave started for a critically ill child

the expiry of the period identified in the medical certificate

  • the last day of the work week in which the employee ceases to provide care or support to the critically ill child

Critically ill adult

Critical illness leave for a child allows an employee that’s a parent or family member to provide care or support to an adult family member.

Critically ill adult and child

If an adult and child become critically ill from the same event, the period the employee may take critical illness leave:

  • begins the earlier of:
    • the start date of when the adult requires care or support
    • the day the leave began if it started before a medical certificate was issued
  • ends the earliest of:
    • the last day of the work week in which the last critically ill adult or child dies
    • the end of the 36-week period following the date the leave began
    • the end date listed on the medical certificate of when the adult and child require care or support
    • the last day of the work week the employee ceases to provide care or support to the last of the critically ill adult or child

Length of leave

An eligible employee can take up to 16 weeks for the critical illness of an adult. The number of weeks of leave exceeds the Employment Insurance benefit length by one week in recognition of the waiting period. Employees should be aware of this before taking their leave.

Critical illness leave may be taken in more than one period, but each period has to be at least one week long.

After the leave is completed, and if the adult is still critically ill and care is required, the employee may request the leave again.  However, a new medical certificate must be provided.

The leave ends on the earliest of the following occurrences:

  • the last day of the work week in which the adult named in the medical certificate dies
  • 16 weeks after from the day the leave started for a critically ill adult

the expiry of the period identified in the medical certificate

  • the last day of the work week in which the employee ceases to provide care or support to the critically ill adult

Giving notice

Medical certificate

Employees caring for a critically ill child or adult must give their employer a medical certificate, which can be issued by a nurse practitioner or physician. The certificate must include:

  • that the child or adult is critically ill and requires the care or support of one or more family members,
  • the start date of the period when care or support is needed,
  • the end date of the period during which the child requires care or support, and
  • if the leave started before the certificate was issued, the date the leave began.

If the employee cannot provide the medical certificate prior to starting the leave, they must provide it as soon as is reasonable.

Starting leave

The employee who wishes to take this leave must give at least 2 weeks’ written notice to their employer. If it not possible to give 2 weeks’ notice, then the employee must give written notice as soon as it is reasonable to do so. This notice needs to include the estimated date of the employee’s return to work. The employee must also inform his or her employer of any change in the estimated date of returning to work.

Ending leave

The employee must provide at least one week’s written notice of the date they intend to return to work unless the employee and employer agree otherwise.

An employee who will not be returning to work after their leave ends must give the employer at least 2 weeks’ written notice of their intention to terminate their employment.

Employers are not required to reinstate employees who fail to give notice or report to work the day after their leave ends, unless the failure is due to unforeseeable or unpreventable circumstances.

Vacation days and pay

Annual vacation earned prior to leave must be taken within 12 months after it was earned. If this time falls while the employee is on leave, the employee must:

  • take the remaining vacation time at the end of their leave, or
  • get approval from the employer to take the vacation time at a later date

Termination of employment

Employees can’t be terminated or laid off while on critical illness of leave unless:

  • the employer suspends or discontinues the business; in this case, the employer must reinstate the employee if the business starts up again within 52 weeks after their leave ends, or
  • the reason for the termination is unrelated to the employee requesting or taking the leave

How the law applies

Part 2, Division 7.4 of the Employment Standards Code (Code) sets out the rules for critical illness of child leave. The legislation entitles eligible employees to a period of leave without pay, at the end of which they must be reinstated in their same, or an equivalent, job.

Long-term leave for illness or injury

Employees are eligible for long-term illness and injury leave if they have been employed at least 90 days with the same employer.

Eligible employees can take time off work without pay without risk of losing their job.

Employers must grant leave to eligible employees and give them their same, or equivalent, job back when the employee returns to work.

Employers aren’t required to pay wages or benefits during long-term illness and injury leave, unless stated in an employment contract or collective agreement.

Employees on long-term illness and injury leave are considered to be continuously employed for the purposes of calculating years of service.

Employee eligibility

Employees are eligible for long-term illness and injury leave if they’ve been employed at least 90 days with the same employer.

Employees with less than 90 days of employment may still be granted leave. However, their employers aren’t required under employment standards legislation to grant them leave.

Length of leave

An eligible employee can take up to 16 weeks of long-term illness and injury leave each calendar year. The number of weeks of leave exceeds the Employment Insurance benefit length by one week in recognition of the waiting period. Employees should be aware of this before taking their leave.

Giving notice

Medical certificate

The employee must provide a medical certificate to the employer that states the estimated duration of the leave. A medical certificate may be issued by a nurse practitioner or physician.

The medical certificate must be provided to the employer before the leave begins. If the employee is unable to do so, the certificate must be provided as soon as is reasonable.

Starting leave

Employees must give employers written notice as soon as is reasonable, which must include the estimated date of the employee’s return to work.

The employee must inform his or her employer of any change in the estimated date of returning to work.

Ending leave

Employees must provide at least 1 week’s written notice of the date they intend to return to work unless there is an agreement otherwise.

Employees must provide at least 2 weeks’ written notice of intention to terminate employment if they will not be returning to work after their leave ends.

Employers are not required to reinstate employees who fail to give notice or report to work on their next scheduled work day after their leave ends, unless the failure is due to unforeseeable or unpreventable circumstances.

Vacation days and pay

Annual vacation earned prior to leave must be taken within 12 months after it was earned. If this time falls while the employee is on leave, the employee must:

  • take the remaining vacation time at the end of their leave, or
  • get approval from the employer to take the vacation time at a later date

Termination of employment

Employees can’t be terminated or laid off while on long-term illness and injury leave unless:

  • the employer suspends or discontinues the business; in this case, the employer must reinstate the employee if the business starts up again within 52 weeks after their leave ends, or
  • the reason for the termination is unrelated to the employee requesting or taking the leave

Employees may be eligible for long-term illness and injury benefits under the federal EI program.

How the law applies

Part 2, Division 7.5 of the Employment Standards Code (Code) sets out the rules for long-term critical illness and injury leave. The legislation entitles eligible employees to a period of leave without pay, at the end of which they must be reinstated in their same, or an equivalent, job.

Personal and family responsibility leave

Employees are eligible for personal and family responsibility leave if they have been employed at least 90 days with the same employer.

Eligible employees can take time off work without risk of losing their job.

Employers must grant personal and family responsibility leave to eligible employees and give them their same, or equivalent, job back when the employee returns to work.

Employers aren’t required to pay wages or benefits during leave unless stated in an employment contract or collective agreement.

Employees on personal and family responsibility leave are considered to be continuously employed for the purposes of calculating years of service.

Employee eligibility

Employees are eligible for personal and family responsibility leave if they have been employed at least 90 days with the same employer.

Employees with less than 90 days of employment may still be granted leave. However, their employers aren’t required under employment standards legislation to grant them leave.

Leave must be considered necessary for:

  • the health of the employee or,
  • for the employee to meet his or her family responsibilities in relation to a family member
  • Employers and employees may agree that the employee may take the leave in half day increments if required.

Who’s considered a family member?

All of the following are considered family members:

  • Partner (spouse, adult interdependent or common-law)
  • Parents, foster parents, guardians
  • Children, foster children, wards, partner’s children
  • Siblings
  • Grandchildren
  • Grandparents
  • Any other person living with the employee as a member of their family

Length of leave

An employee can take up to 5 days of personal and family responsibility leave in each calendar year. Any leave days not used by an employee cannot be carried over into a new calendar year.

Giving notice

An employee must give an employer notice as soon as is reasonable before taking a leave. A medical certificate or other documentation is not required by legislation in order to take personal and family responsibility leave, however, employers can establish their own policies for documentation. Any leave days not used by an employee do not have to be paid out by the employer if employment terminates.

Termination of employment

An employer may not terminate the employment or lay off an employee while on personal and family responsibility leave. Any leave days not used by an employee do not have to be paid out by the employer if employment terminates.

An employee who feels they have been improperly terminated can file an Employment Standards Complaint.

How the law applies

Part 2, Division 7.6 of the Employment Standards Code sets out the rules for personal and family responsibility leave. The legislation entitles eligible employees to a period of leave without pay, at the end of which they must be reinstated in their same, or an equivalent, job.

 
Leave related to compassionate care

Employees are eligible for compassionate care leave [Division 7.2] if they have been employed at least 90 days with the same employer.

Eligible employees who provide a medical certificate can take time off work for compassionate care leave without risk of losing their job.

Employers must grant compassionate care leave to eligible employees and give them their same, or equivalent, job back after they return to work.

Employees on compassionate care leave are considered to be continuously employed, for the purposes of calculating years of service.

Employee eligibility

Employees are eligible for compassionate care leave if:

  • they’ve been employed at least 90 days with the same employer
  • they give care or provide support to a gravely ill family member; the ill family member may live in Alberta or elsewhere
  • their family member is at significant risk of dying within 26 weeks, as established by a medical certificate

Employees with less than 90 days of employment may still be granted leave. However, their employers aren’t required under employment standards legislation to grant them leave.

If more than one employee who is employed by the same employer is entitled to compassionate care leave with respect to the same family member, the employer is not required to grant the leave to more than one employee at a time.

Who’s considered a family member?

The following are considered family members.

  • Employee’s family members:
  • Spouse, adult interdependent partner or common-law partner
  • Children (and their partner/spouse)
  • Current or former foster children (and their partner/spouse)
  • Current or former wards
  • Parents, step-parents and/or current or former guardians (and their partner/spouse)
  • Current or former foster parents
  • Siblings, half-siblings, step-siblings (and their partner/spouse)
  • Grandchildren, step-grandchildren (and their partner/spouse)
  • Grandparents, step-grandparents
  • Aunts, uncles, step-aunts, step-uncles (and their partner/spouse)
  • Nieces, nephews (and their partner/spouse)
  • A person the employee isn’t related to but considers to be like a close relative
  • Family members of employee’s spouse, common-law or adult interdependent partner:
  • Children (and their partner/spouse)
  • Current or former wards
  • Parents, step-parents, foster parents
  • Sibling, half-sibling, step-sibling
  • Grandparents
  • Grandchildren
  • Aunts, uncles
  • Nieces, nephews

Length of leave

An eligible employee can take up to 27 weeks of compassionate care leave. The number of weeks of leave exceeds the Employment Insurance benefit length by one week in recognition of the waiting period. Employees should be aware of this before taking their leave.

The leave can be split into multiple instalments, but each period must be at least one week in length.

Compassionate care leave ends when the earliest of one of the following occurs:

  • the last day of the work week in which the family member dies
  • the 27 weeks of compassionate care leave ends, or
  • the last day of the work week in which the employee ceases to provide care or support to the seriously ill family member

After the leave is completed, and if the family member is still gravely ill and care is required, the employee may request the leave again. However, a new medical certificate must be provided.

Giving notice

Medical certificate

Employees caring for an ill family member must give their employer a medical certificate. A medical certificate may be issued by a nurse practitioner or physician. The certificate must include:

  • a statement that the family member has a serious medical condition and a significant risk of dying within 26 weeks
  • a statement that the family member needs the care or support of one or more family members

If the employee cannot provide the certificate prior to starting the leave, they must provide it as soon as is reasonable.

The 26 weeks is calculated by the earlier of:

  • the day the certificate was issued by the physician, or
  • the day the leave began, if it began before the certificate was issued

Starting leave

Employees must give their employer written notice at least 2 weeks before the start date of their leave.  Notice must include the estimated date of the employee’s return to work.

However, less than 2 weeks’ notice may be given in circumstances where 2 weeks’ notice isn’t possible. In this case, notice must be provided to the employer as soon as is reasonable.

Ending leave

Employees must give their employers at least one week’s written notice to return to work unless the employee and employer agree otherwise.

An employee who chooses not to return to work after the leave ends must give the employer at least 2 weeks’ written notice.

Vacations and vacation pay

Annual vacation earned prior to leave must be taken within 12 months after it was earned. If this time falls while the employee is on leave, the employee must:

  • take the remaining vacation time at the end of the compassionate care leave, or
  • get approval from the employer to take the vacation time at a later date

Termination of employment

Employees can’t be terminated or laid off while on compassionate care leave unless:

  • the employer suspends or discontinues the business; in this case, the employer must reinstate the employee if the business starts up again within 52 weeks after their leave ends, or
  • the reason for the termination is unrelated to the employee requesting or taking the leave

Employers can’t discriminate against, lay off or terminate an employee, or require them to resign, because of compassionate care leave.

Employment insurance (EI) benefits

Employees eligible for compassionate care leave may also be eligible for Employment Insurance benefits for compassionate care.

 

British Columbia

Leave related to critical illness or injury

An employee is entitled to up to five days of unpaid leave in each employment year to meet responsibilities related to the care, health or education of any member of the employee’s immediate family.

Family Responsibility Leave does not accumulate from year to year.

Personal and family responsibility leave

An employee is entitled to up to five days of unpaid leave in each employment year to meet responsibilities related to the care, health or education of any member of the employee’s immediate family.

 
Leave related to compassionate care

The Employment Standards Act[52.2] requires employers to allow employees to take unpaid compassionate care leave to provide care and support to a family member in situations where the family member is gravely ill with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks.

Entitlement to the Leave

Employees are entitled to take up to 27 weeks of compassionate care leave within a 52-week period.

All employees are entitled to take this unpaid leave. An employee does not have to work for a specified period to qualify for leave. "Family member" means someone who is:

in relation to an employee:

  • the employee's  spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandchild or grandparent;
  • any person who lives with the employee as a member of the employee’s family;
  • the employee's aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, current or former foster parent, ward or guardian;
  • the spouse of the employee's sibling or step-sibling, child or step-child, grandparent, grandchild, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, current or former foster child or guardian;

in relation to an employee's spouse:

  • the spouse's child, parent or step-parent, sibling or step-sibling;
  • the spouse’s  grandparent, grandchild, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew;
  • the spouse’s current or former foster parent, or current or former ward; and
  • anyone else who the employee considers to be like a close relative regardless of blood, adoption, marriage or common law partnership.

Setting up and Starting Leave

An employee must get a certificate from a medical practitioner stating that the family member has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks.

Once the employee requests leave from the employer, the employee is entitled to the leave.

There is no requirement for the employee to make the request in writing or to give the employer advance notice. However, the employee may want to speak to the employer about the possible need for a leave when they first become aware of it.

If the employee has not obtained a certificate the first time leave is required, the employee is still entitled to the leave. The employee would have to give the employer the certificate as soon as it is reasonably possible to do so.

The 52-week period begins when a medical practitioner issues a certificate to the employee, or the first time the employee takes a leave, whichever comes first. If the employee takes a leave before getting the certificate, that leave will be included in the 52-week period covered by the certificate.

Leaves must be taken in units of at least a week. A "week" starts on Sunday. This means that the 52-week period will start to run from the Sunday of the week that the certificate is issued; or from the Sunday of the week that the employee first took leave. It also means that if an employee needs two days of leave in the same week, a week of leave will be deemed to have been used.

Ending the Leave

The leave can come to an end in three ways, whichever comes first.

On the last day of the week in which the family member dies.

After the employee has had 27 weeks off within the period of 52 weeks. The employer will not have to grant any more leave during that 52 week period.

Fifty-two weeks after the period begins. Even if the employee has not taken 27 weeks of leave, the employer is not required to grant any more leave until the employee provides another medical certificate.

If the family member does not die within the 52-week period, an employee may take a further leave after obtaining a new medical certificate stating that the family member has a serious medical condition with significant risk of death within 26 weeks.

Employment Considered Continuous

An employee who is on compassionate care leave is considered to be continuously employed for the purposes of calculating annual vacation and termination entitlements, as well as for pension, medical or other plans of benefit to the employee.

An employer must continue to make payments to any such plans, unless the employee chooses not to continue with his or her share of the cost of a plan. The employee is also entitled to all increases in wages and benefits that the employee would have received if the leave had not been taken.

Conditions of Employment to Remain the Same During Leave

An employer may not terminate an employee, or change a condition of employment because of a leave, without the employee's written consent.

Return to Work

When the leave ends, the employer must place the employee in his or her former position or a comparable one. 

Manitoba

Leave related to critical illness

Who can take a Leave Related to Critical Illness?

An employee who is a family member of a critically ill child under 18 years old who has worked for the same employer for at least 30 days is entitled to the leave.

An employee who is a family member of a critically ill adult who has worked for the same employer for at least 90 days is entitled to the leave.

How long is the Leave Related to Critical Illness?

Employees can take up to 37 weeks of leave within a 52 week period to provide care or support to a critically ill child under 18 years old.

Employees can take up to 17 weeks of leave within a 52 week period to provide care or support to a critically ill adult.

Employees can take the leave in one or more periods, however, each period must be at least one week long.

What is the definition of a critically ill adult?

A person 18 years old or more with a life-threatening illness or injury. This is the same definition used in the regulations under the federal government's Employment Insurance Act.

What is the definition of a critically ill child?

A child under 18 years old with a life-threatening illness or injury. This is the same as the definition used in the regulations under the federal government's Employment Insurance Act.

Do employees get paid when on leave?

No. Employers are not required to pay wages to employees while on leave. For all leaves, the legislation only requires employers to provide the time off and allow employees to return to their job when the leave has ended. Employers can, and often do, give greater benefits than those provided for in the legislation.

However, other federal programs may provide income replacement. Employees should contact the federal government to find out what types of leaves have income replacement.

The only exception under The Employment Standards Code where an employer is required to pay a portion of a leave is under the Domestic Violence Leave.

How do employees start the leave?

The need for this type of leave is unpredictable. When possible, employees must give at least one pay period of notice before the leave and provide their employer with a doctor's certificate as soon as possible.

Do employees need to provide a doctor's note?

Employees must provide their employer with a doctor's note indicating that the family member is critically ill and requires the care or support of the employee for a specified amount of time.

Are there programs to pay employees while on leave?

The federal government has income support programs to cover certain types of leave.  To learn more, call Service Canada toll-free at 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).

What if an employee cannot give notice?

Employees are still entitled to the leave even if they are unable to give notice.

Who decides what type of leave an employee is taking?

Employees tell their employers they are needing to take a leave. The employer will need enough detail to show the time off work meets the requirements of the leave.

When employees request time off, the employer should ask whether they are advising of a leave available under The Employment Standards Code or asking for approval for time off. Employers do not control when employees can take a leave provided by law, but they do control other types of time off work.

What if a family member is still critically ill after an employee takes the leave?

If a child or adult remains critically ill after the 52 week period that the leave was taken in, an employee can take the leave again. The eligibility requirements would remain the same.

What happens when the leave ends?

Employees must be returned to the position the employee occupied when the leave began or to a comparable position, with not less than the pay and benefits the employee earned immediately prior to the leave.

 

What if employees want to end Leave Related to Critical Illness?

Unless the employee and employer agree otherwise, an employee who wants to return to work earlier than the date the leave ends must give the employer written notice of at least one pay period. 

What if the employee's job is no longer available?

Generally, employees should be returned to the job they had before the leave. However, if the job is no longer available, they must be given a similar position with the same or greater benefits and pay.

There may be some situations where employers do not have a position available for reasons completely unrelated to the leave. For example, employees who are on unpaid leave would not necessarily be protected from losing their jobs if the employer shut down part of their operations and reduced their workforce based on a seniority system.

Employers must show the leave has no impact on the decision to lay−off or terminate the employment.

What if the employer refuses to bring the employee back to work?

Long-term leave for serious injury or illness

Employees who are suffering from a serious injury or illness which will prevent them from being at work for at least two weeks may be entitled to this leave.  Long-term leave for serious injury or illness provides time off work and protects employees from lay-off or job termination during the period of the leave.

Who can take long-term leave for serious injury or illness?

Employees who have worked for the same employer for at least 90 days and have a serious injury or illness that prevents them from being at work for at least two weeks are entitled to the leave.

How long is the leave and how must it be taken?

Eligible employees are entitled to take long-term leave for serious injury or illness for up to 17 weeks in a 52-week period. The leave must be taken in one continuous period unless the employer and employee agree to a different arrangement, or there are different terms set out under collective agreement.

What verification is needed?

For an employee to be eligible for the leave, a physician must issue a certificate with evidence to verify that the employee is expected to be incapable of being at work for at least two weeks due to a serious illness or injury.

When must the employee give the medical certificate to the employer?

Employees must give the medical certificate from the physician to the employer as soon as possible. The time frame will depend on individual circumstances, and may change from case to case. 

How much notice is required to take the leave?

Employees are required to give the employer as much notice as is reasonable and practicable. In some cases, employees know ahead of time that they will need time off work related to a serious injury or illness. In others, the need for time off work will be sudden and unexpected, and it may not be possible to provide any notice.

Can employers provide additional leave or paid days of leave?

Yes. Employers can give greater benefits than those provided for in the legislation.

Who decides what type of leave an employee is taking?

Employees tell their employers they are needing to take a leave. The employer will need enough detail to show the time off work meets the requirements of the leave.

When employees request time off, the employer should ask whether they are advising of a leave available under The Employment Standards Code or asking for approval for time off. Employers do not control when employees can take a leave provided by law, but they do control other types of time off work.

What if employees want to end the leave early?

Employees can end the leave earlier than 17 weeks if they give the employer at least two weeks’ notice in writing before the day they intend to return to work. Employers and employees may agree to a different schedule for returning to work.

Do employees need to provide a medical note to confirm their fitness for work before returning from long-term leave for serious injury or illness?

The employer may require the employee to provide a medical note to confirm that the employee is fit to return to work.

Can employees be terminated or laid off because they take a leave?

No. Employers cannot terminate or lay off employees because they took or requested a leave.

What if the employer refuses to bring the employee back to work?

Employees must be allowed to return to their job, or comparable job, with the same or greater pay and benefits when they return from leave. Employees who have been refused by their employer can file a complaint with Employment Standards within six months after the date the employee should have been reinstated.

Do employees get paid when on leave?

No. Employers are not required to pay wages to employees while on leave. For all leaves, the legislation only requires employers to provide the time off and allow employees to return to their job when the leave has ended. Employers can, and often do, give greater benefits than those provided for in the legislation.

However, other federal programs may provide income replacement. Employees should contact the federal government to find out what types of leaves have income replacement.

What if the employee's job is no longer available?

Generally, employees should be returned to the job they had before the leave. However, if the job is no longer available, they must be given a similar position with the same or greater benefits and pay.

There may be some situations where employers do not have a position available for reasons completely unrelated to the leave. For example, employees who are on unpaid leave would not necessarily be protected from losing their jobs if the employer shut down part of their operations and reduced their workforce based on a seniority system.

Employers must show the leave has no impact on the decision to lay−off or terminate the employment.

What happens to pension and other benefits while an employee is on leave?

Employment is considered continuous during a legislated leave of absence from work. This means an employee is still employed, though not earning wages for the period of the leave. When employees return from the leave, they are still entitled to any pension and other benefits they had before the leave. As well, their years of service include the time away on the leave.

What happens when the leave ends?

Employees must be returned to the position the employee occupied when the leave began or to a comparable position, with not less than the pay and benefits the employee earned immediately prior to the leave.

What is a period of employment?

The length of time from when an employee starts working for an employer until the day the employment ends.

The period of employment also includes periods of temporary interruption in employment (a layoff, an unpaid leave) seasonal employment, and when an employee returns to work for the same employer after a break of less than two months.  Employees who work in a seasonal industry and return to work with the same employer each season have continuous service. Each consecutive season they return adds one more year of service to their total period of employment.

Will the information about the leave be confidential?

Unless it is required by law or the employee has given consent, employers cannot disclose information related to a leave except to other persons in the workplace, who need to know in order to carry out their duties.

Are there programs to pay employees while on leave?

The federal government has income support programs to cover certain types of leave. 

Leave related to organ donation

Leave for organ donation allows employees to take unpaid leave to donate an organ or tissue to another individual.

Who qualifies for leave for Organ Donation?

Employees who have worked for their employer for at least 30 days. Employees must provide a certificate from a doctor stating the start and end dates for the period of time necessary to donate the organ and recover from the procedure.

How do employees start a leave for organ donation?

The need for this type of leave can be unpredictable. Employees must give their employer as much written notice as possible and a certificate from a doctor stating the start and end dates for the period of time necessary to donate the organ and recover from the procedure. 

How long is the leave?

The leave is up to 13 weeks. The employee can take leave for the period of time stated in the doctor's certificate.

If employees have not recovered, can this leave be extended?

Employees are entitled to extend their leave by up to an additional 13 weeks, if a doctor provides another certificate stating the time period needed to finish recovering. 

Do employees get paid when on leave?

No. Employers are not required to pay wages to employees while on leave. For all leaves, the legislation only requires employers to provide the time off and allow employees to return to their job when the leave has ended. Employers can, and often do, give greater benefits than those provided for in the legislation.

However, other federal programs may provide income replacement. Employees should contact the federal government to find out what types of leaves have income replacement.

The only exception under The Employment Standards Code where an employer is required to pay a portion of a leave is under the Domestic Violence Leave.

What happens when the leave ends?

Employees must be returned to the position the employee occupied when the leave began or to a comparable position, with not less than the pay and benefits the employee earned immediately prior to the leave.

What if an employee wants to end the Leave for Organ Donation early?

Employees who wish to return to work before their leave has ended must give their employer written notice of their intent at least one pay period before the day he or she wishes to end the leave.

What if the employee's job is no longer available?

Generally, employees should be returned to the job they had before the leave. However, if the job is no longer available, they must be given a similar position with the same or greater benefits and pay.

There may be some situations where employers do not have a position available for reasons completely unrelated to the leave. For example, employees who are on unpaid leave would not necessarily be protected from losing their jobs if the employer shut down part of their operations and reduced their workforce based on a seniority system.

Employers must show the leave has no impact on the decision to lay−off or terminate the employment.

What if the employer refuses to bring the employee back to work?

Employees must be allowed to return to their job, or comparable job, with the same or greater pay and benefits when they return from leave. Employees who have been refused by their employer can file a complaint with Employment Standards within six months after the date the employee should have been reinstated.

How does an unpaid leave affect...

Termination?

When it comes to how much notice an employer or an employee has to give upon termination, the amount of time spent on the leave has to be included in determining the length of service.

Vacation?

The leave does not affect the amount of vacation time an employee is entitled to, as the time spent on leave is included in the employee’s length of service.  However, since vacation pay is a percentage of wages earned, the leave will affect the vacation pay. 

What happens to pension and other benefits while an employee is on leave?

Employment is considered continuous during a legislated leave of absence from work. This means an employee is still employed, though not earning wages for the period of the leave. When employees return from the leave, they are still entitled to any pension and other benefits they had before the leave. As well, their years of service include the time away on the leave.

Will the information about the leave be confidential?

Unless it is required by law or the employee has given consent, employers cannot disclose information related to a leave except to other persons in the workplace, who need to know in order to carry out their duties.

Employees must be allowed to return to their job, or comparable job, with the same or greater pay and benefits when they return from leave. Employees who have been refused by their employer can file a complaint with Employment Standards within six months after the date the employee should have been reinstated.

 
Personal and family responsibility

Family leave allows employees unpaid time off to deal with family responsibilities or personal illness without fear of job loss.

How long is family leave?

The legislation provides three unpaid days per year as family leave. Many employers give greater benefits than those provided for in the legislation, such as more days off or paid leave.

Who can take family leave?

All employees employed for at least 30 days with the same employer are entitled to this leave.

Are employees paid while on family leave?

No. The legislation only requires employers to provide time off and allow employees to return to their job when the leave has ended. Employers are not required to pay wages during the leave. Employers can, and often do, give greater benefits than those provided for in the legislation.

Who are considered family members?

Family is defined very broadly for Employment Standards’ purposes. Children, stepchildren, parents, grandparents, spouses, common law spouses, brothers, sisters, step-brothers, step-sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews are all considered family members. The definition also includes those who are not related, but whom the employee considers to be like a close relative.

When can employees take family leave?

Employees can take family leave to deal with personal illness or the needs of their family. In some situations, this can be arranged in advance, but in others, that is not possible.

This leave is short term (3 unpaid days) and as a result “family responsibilities” is viewed broadly.  In the majority of cases this is used to allow an employee to address health care needs for themselves or their family.  It has also been used for unexpected child care situations.  However, the leave is not limited to those situations as long as employees provide the employer with as much notice as reasonable and practical. They must also provide reasonable verification the leave is necessary if requested by the employer.

Who decides what type of leave an employee is taking?

Employees tell their employers they are needing to take a leave. The employer will need enough detail to show the time off work meets the requirements of the leave.

When employees request time off, the employer should ask whether they are advising of a leave available under The Employment Standards Code or asking for approval for time off. Employers do not control when employees can take a leave provided by law, but they do control other types of time off work.

What is reasonable verification for family leave?

Reasonable verification will be different from case to case. For example, a doctor's note may be needed in some cases, but not in others. The intent is to reasonably confirm the employee is dealing with their own illness or the needs of their family during the leave.

Can employees who do not take any family leave this year, use six days next year?

No. Each year employees are eligible for three days of leave but it does not carry over to future years.

Can employees take part of a day as family leave?

When an employee takes part of a day for family leave, the employer may count that as a full day of the leave.  Employers do not have to accommodate an employee taking the leave in part days, as long as they allow the employee to take the leave.

Can employees be terminated or laid off because they take a leave?

No. Employers cannot terminate or lay off employees because they took or requested a leave.

What happens when the leave ends?

Employees must be allowed to return to their job, or a comparable job with the same or greater benefits and pay, when they return from leave. Employers may not discriminate or attempt to punish employees for taking a leave.

Can employers give paid leave or more time off?

Yes. Employers can, and often do, give greater benefits than those provided for in the legislation. Many employers provide more days or will pay employees for their leave.

Do employees get paid when on leave?

No. Employers are not required to pay wages to employees while on leave. For all leaves, the legislation only requires employers to provide the time off and allow employees to return to their job when the leave has ended. Employers can, and often do, give greater benefits than those provided for in the legislation.

However, other federal programs may provide income replacement. Employees should contact the federal government to find out what types of leaves have income replacement.

The only exception under The Employment Standards Code where an employer is required to pay a portion of a leave is under the Domestic Violence Leave.

What happens to pension and other benefits while an employee is on leave?

Employment is considered continuous during a legislated leave of absence from work. This means an employee is still employed, though not earning wages for the period of the leave. When employees return from the leave, they are still entitled to any pension and other benefits they had before the leave. As well, their years of service include the time away on the leave.

Will the information about the leave be confidential?

Unless it is required by law or the employee has given consent, employers cannot disclose information related to a leave except to other persons in the workplace, who need to know in order to carry out their duties.

What is a period of employment?

The length of time from when an employee starts working for an employer until the day the employment ends.

The period of employment also includes periods of temporary interruption in employment (a layoff, an unpaid leave) seasonal employment, and when an employee returns to work for the same employer after a break of less than two months.  Employees who work in a seasonal industry and return to work with the same employer each season have continuous service. Each consecutive season they return adds one more year of service to their total period of employment.

[59.3]

 
Leave related to compassionate care

[59.2]

Compassionate care leave gives employees the opportunity to take up to 28 weeks of unpaid leave to care for or support a critically ill family member who has a significant risk of death within the next 26 weeks.

Who qualifies for Compassionate Care Leave?

Employees who have worked with the same employer for at least 90 days qualify for this leave. Employees must provide a certificate from a doctor indicating a family member has a serious medical condition, has a significant risk of death within the next 26 weeks, and needs care and support.

How long is the leave?

The leave is up to 28 weeks. Employees can take the leave in one or two periods that must be at least one week long. 

Who are considered family members?

Family is defined very broadly for Employment Standards’ purposes. Children, stepchildren, parents, grandparents, spouses, common-law spouses, brothers, sisters, step-brothers, step-sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews are all considered family members. The definition also includes those who are not related, but whom the employee considers being like a close relative.

Do employees get paid when on leave?

No. Employers are not required to pay wages to employees while on leave. For all leaves, the legislation only requires employers to provide the time off and allow employees to return to their job when the leave has ended. Employers can, and often do, give greater benefits than those provided for in the legislation.

However, other federal programs may provide income replacement. Employees should contact the federal government to find out what types of leaves have income replacement.

The only exception under The Employment Standards Code where an employer is required to pay a portion of a leave is under the Domestic Violence Leave.

How do employees start the leave?

The need for this type of leave is unpredictable. When possible, employees must give at least one pay period of notice before the leave and provide their employer with a doctor's certificate as soon as possible.

What if an employee cannot give notice?

Employees are still entitled to the leave even if they are unable to give notice.

Who decides what type of leave an employee is taking?

Employees tell their employers they are needing to take a leave. The employer will need enough detail to show the time off work meets the requirements of the leave.

When employees request time off, the employer should ask whether they are advising of a leave available under The Employment Standards Code or asking for approval for time off. Employers do not control when employees can take a leave provided by law, but they do control other types of time off work.

What if employees want to end Compassionate Care Leave early?

Unless the employee and employer agree otherwise, an employee who wants to return to work earlier than the date the leave ends must give the employer at least 48 hours notice. 

Can employees be terminated or laid off because they take a leave?

No. Employers cannot terminate or lay off employees for taking or requesting a leave.

What if the employer refuses to bring the employee back to work?

Employees must be allowed to return to their job, or comparable job, with the same or greater pay and benefits when they return from leave. Employees who have been refused by their employer can file a complaint with Employment Standards within six months after the date the employee should have been reinstated.

What if the employee's job is no longer available?

Generally, employees should be returned to the job they had before the leave. However, if the job is no longer available, they must be given a similar position with the same or greater benefits and pay.

There may be some situations where employers do not have a position available for reasons completely unrelated to the leave. For example, employees who are on unpaid leave would not necessarily be protected from losing their jobs if the employer shut down part of their operations and reduced their workforce based on a seniority system.

Employers must show the leave has no impact on the decision to lay−off or terminate the employment.

What happens to pension and other benefits while an employee is on leave?

Employment is considered continuous during a legislated leave of absence from work. This means an employee is still employed, though not earning wages for the period of the leave. When employees return from the leave, they are still entitled to any pension and other benefits they had before the leave. As well, their years of service include the time away on the leave.

What happens when the leave ends?

Employees must be returned to the position the employee occupied when the leave began or to a comparable position, with not less than the pay and benefits the employee earned immediately prior to the leave.

What is a period of employment?

The length of time from when an employee starts working for an employer until the day the employment ends.

The period of employment also includes periods of temporary interruption in employment (a layoff, an unpaid leave) seasonal employment, and when an employee returns to work for the same employer after a break of less than two months.  Employees who work in a seasonal industry and return to work with the same employer each season have continuous service. Each consecutive season they return adds one more year of service to their total period of employment.

Will the information about the leave be confidential?

Unless it is required by law or the employee has given consent, employers cannot disclose information related to a leave except to other persons in the workplace, who need to know in order to carry out their duties.

 

New-Brunswick

Leave related to critical illness

Critical Illness Care for a Child

Employers are required to provide an unpaid leave of up to thirty-seven (37) weeks to allow parents or other family members to provide care and support for a critically ill child who is under 18 years old.

Eligibility

An employee who is a parent or other family member of a critically ill child under 18 years old is entitled to the leave.

If both parents or other family members are employees of the same employer, the leave of absence may be taken wholly by one of the employees or be shared by the employees. The aggregate amount of leave that may be taken by the two employees shall not exceed to thirty-seven (37) weeks.

Notice requirements

  • Employees must give their employers written notice of their intention to take a leave as soon as possible.
  • If possible, the information to be provided to the employer includes the anticipated commencement date of the leave, the anticipated duration of the leave, and a doctor’s certificate.
  • If circumstances beyond the employee’s control require a change in the duration of the leave, the employee shall advise the employer of the change.
  • The leave ends the last day of the week in which either the child dies or at the expiration of the thirty-seven (37) weeks

Critical Illness Care for an Adult

Employers are required to provide an unpaid leave of up to sixteen (16) weeks to allow parents or other family members to provide care and support for a critically ill adult who is 18 years of age or older.

Eligibility

An employee who is a parent or other family member of a critically ill adult who is 18 years or older is entitled to the leave.

If both parents or other family members are employees of the same employer, the leave of absence may be taken wholly by one of the employees or be shared by the employees. The aggregate amount of leave that may be taken by the two employees shall not exceed sixteen (16) weeks.

Notice requirements

  • Employees must give their employers written notice of their intention to take a leave as soon as possible.
  • If possible, the information to be provided to the employer includes the anticipated commencement date of the leave, the anticipated duration of the leave, and a doctor’s certificate.
  • If circumstances beyond the employee’s control require a change in the duration of the leave, the employee shall advise the employer of the change.
  • The leave ends the last day of the week in which either the adult dies or at the expiration of the sixteen (16) weeks.
long-term leave for illness or injury

An employee who has worked for the same employer for more than 90 days must be given, upon request, leaves of absence without pay as sick leave of up to five days during a twelve-month calendar period.

Where an employee, due to an illness or injury, requests a leave of absence of four or more consecutive calendar days, the employer can require the employee to provide the employer with a medical certificate certifying that the employee is incapable of working due to illness or injury.

 

Personal and family responsibility leave

Family responsibility leave gives employees time off to deal with the health, care or education needs of a person in a close family relationship. Employers are required to give employees, upon request, leaves of absence without pay for up to three days per year.

 
Leave related to compassionate care

Compassionate care leave gives employees leaves of absence without pay for up to twenty-eight (28) weeks to care for a person in a close family relationship who is critically ill and has a significant risk of dying.

In order for an employee to qualify for compassionate care leave, the employee must have a written note from a certified medical practitioner stating that a person in a close family relationship has a serious medical condition that carries a significant risk of death within the next twenty-eight (28) weeks and requires care and support.

In addition to these requirements, other conditions apply:

  • should the person in a close family relationship die, the compassionate care leave expires and bereavement leave may then be taken by the employee;
  • the leave may be broken up over the twenty-eight (28)-week period, and may only be taken in periods of at least a one-week duration;
  • the leave may be shared by two or more employees, but the total leave period taken by the employees may not exceed twenty-eight (28) weeks; and
  • there is no length of service requirement for employees to access compassionate care leave.

The government of Canada offers a program under Employment Insurance that covers Compassionate Care Leave.

The leave ends the last day of the week in which either the adult dies or at the expiration of the sixteen (16) weeks.

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

Sick/Family Responsibility Leave

Who is entitled to sick/family responsibility leave?

An employee who has been employed with the same employer for a continuous period of 30 days is entitled to 7 days unpaid sick or family responsibility leave in a year.

Does the employee have to provide a note to the employer for sick leave?

An employee must provide a note to their employer, signed by a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner, if on sick leave for 3 consecutive days or more.

Does the employee have to provide a note to the employer for family responsibility leave?

An employee must provide a written statement outlining the nature of the family responsibility leave where the employee is absent from work for 3 consecutive days or more

Leave related to critical illness

What is critical illness leave?
An unpaid leave of absence to provide care or support to a critically ill family member.
How long can critical illness leave last?
37 weeks to provide care or support to the critically ill child who is a family member;
however, the employee must limit the duration of the leave to that which is reasonably
necessary in the circumstances.

17 weeks to provide care or support to the critically ill adult who is a family member;
however, the employee must limit the duration of the leave to that which is reasonably
necessary in the circumstances.

Who is eligible for critical illness leave?
An employee who has been employed by the same employer for at least 30 days
qualifies for critical illness leave.

For which family members can an employee take critical illness leave?
An employee may take critical illness leave to care for any of the following family
members of either the employee’s family or their spouses or cohabiting partner’s family:

  • child or stepchild
  • spouse or cohabiting partner
  • parent or step-parent
  • siblings or step-siblings
  • grandparents or step-grandparents
  • grandchildren and their spouse or cohabiting partner
  • “in-laws” either married or cohabiting
  • aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and their spouses or common-law partners
  • current or former wards, and current or former guardians and their spouse or
  • cohabiting partner

Other than relatives or family members are there other individuals for whom an
employee may take critical illness leave?
Yes, an employee may take critical illness leave to care for an individual not related to
them by blood, adoption, marriage, or cohabiting partnership, whom the employee or
the individual considers being like a close relative.
What must an employee provide to verify that they are entitled to take critical
illness leave?
An employee must provide the employer with a medical certificate from a medical
practitioner or nurse practitioner as soon as possible. The certificate must:
  • state that the child or adult is critically ill and requires the care or support of the employee
  • set out the period during which the child or adult requires that care or support


Must an employee give notice before beginning critical illness leave?
Yes. An employee must give written notice to his or her employer at least 2 weeks
before they intend to take the leave unless there is a valid reason why that notice
cannot be given. The employee must include the length of leave they intend to take.

What happens when the employee returns to work from critical illness leave?
Upon return to work an employee is to be placed in the same or similar position with
duties, benefits and wages they had prior to taking critical illness leave.

What effect does being on critical illness leave have on an employee’s
entitlements under the Labour Standards Act?
Unless the employer and employee agree otherwise, the period spent on critical illness
leave does not count with respect to the accumulation of time for the purposes of notice
of termination, vacation entitlement, or other benefits under the Act.

Does the employee have to provide a note to the employer for family responsibility leave?

An employee must provide a written statement outlining the nature of the family responsibility leave where the employee is absent from work for 3 consecutive days or more.

 
Personal and family responsibility leave

An employee who has been employed with the same employer for a continuous period of 30 days is entitled to 7 days unpaid sick or family responsibility leave in a year.

The employee must provide a note to their employer, signed by a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner, if on sick leave for 3 consecutive days or more.

An employee must provide a written statement outlining the nature of the family responsibility leave where the employee is absent from work for 3 consecutive days or more.

 
Leave related to compassionate care

Compassionate care leave enables an employee to receive up to 28 weeks of unpaid leave to be taken within 52 weeks to provide care to a family member who has a serious medical condition and a significant risk of death.

An employee who has been employed by the same employer for at least 30 days qualifies for compassionate care leave

An employee may take compassionate care leave to care for any of the following family members of either the employee’s family or their spouses or co-habiting partner’s family:

  • child or stepchild
  • wife, husband, cohabiting partner
  • parent or step-parent
  • siblings or step-siblings
  • grandparents or step-grandparents
  • grandchildren and their spouse or cohabiting partner
  • “in-laws” either married or cohabiting
  • aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and their spouses or cohabiting partners
  • current or former wards, and current or former guardians and their spouse or cohabiting partner

An employee may take compassionate care leave to care for an individual not related to them by blood, adoption, marriage, or cohabiting partnership, whom the employee or the individual considers to be like a close relative.

Notice

At least 2 weeks written notice is to be given to the employer before compassionate care leave is to begin. This notice should indicate the length of leave intended to be taken. A medical certificate from a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner is to be provided stating the family member has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks from the date the certificate is issued or the day the leave began if leave began before the certificate was issued.

At least 2 weeks written notice is to be provided to the employer for any change to the intended length of leave, unless there is a valid reason why notice cannot be given.

Continuous Leave

The leave may be broken up, but it must be taken in minimum blocks of 1 week.

Return to Work

Upon return to work, an employee is to be placed in the same or similar position with duties, benefits and wages they had prior to taking compassionate care leave.

Unless the employer and employee agree otherwise, the period spent on compassionate care leave does not count with respect to the accumulation of time for the purposes of notice of termination, vacation entitlement, or other benefits under the Act.

Nova Scotia

Is an employee entitled to sick paid leave?

Employees are entitled to receive up to three days, unpaid sick leave each year. This leave may be used to care for an ill parent, child, or family member.  It can also be used for medical, dental, or other similar appointments.

Leave related to critical illness

Critically Ill Child Care Leave

Critically ill child care leave is an unpaid leave that allows parents and guardians to take time off work to provide care and support to their critically ill or injured child (under the age of 18 years old). 

To qualify for this leave, the employee must have worked with the employer for at least three months.  A qualified medical practitioner must issue a medical certificate stating that the child has a critical illness and the period of time for which the child needs care.

The employee can take up to 37 weeks’ leave, which must be taken over a 52-week time frame.  The leave can be broken up into several periods of at least one week in duration during the 52-week time frame. The 52-week time frame begins on the first day of the week in which the child became critically ill.

The leave ends when the number of weeks in the period specified in a medical certificate has been taken (if the certificate sets out a period of fewer than 37 weeks), when 37 weeks of leave has been taken or when the employee ceases to provide care to the child.  An employee can return to work earlier than intended by giving at least 14 days’ notice.

Under some circumstances, an employee can extend their leave or take a new leave during the 52-week time frame.  The employee may also be able to take consecutive critically ill child care leaves.

Employees who take a critically ill child care leave may qualify for a special benefit under the federal government's Employment Insurance program. For more detail on this special benefit, please Contact Service Canada.

Notice

The employee must let the employer know in writing as soon as possible of their intention to take the leave.  Where the leave must begin before written notice can be given, the employee must advise the employer of the leave as soon as possible.  The employee must also give the employer a plan setting out how the leave will be taken since the leave can be broken up into more than one period over the 52-week time frame.  This leave plan can be changed during the leave with the employer’s agreement or by providing the employer with reasonable notice.

The employer can ask in writing for a copy of the medical certificate.

Critically Ill Adult Care Leave

Critically ill adult care leave is an unpaid leave that allows an employee to take time off work to provide care and support to a critically ill or injured adult (18 years old or older) who is a family member (or a person like family). To qualify for this leave, the employee must have worked with the employer for at least three months. A qualified medical practitioner must issue a medical certificate stating that the adult has a critical illness and the period for which the adult needs care.

The employee can take up to 16 weeks’ leave, which must be taken within a 52-week time frame. The leave can be broken up into several periods of at least one week in duration during this time frame. The 52-week time frame begins on the first day of the week in which the adult became critically ill.

In some circumstances, an employee may need further leave, which may be taken if an additional certificate is issued—the total combined leaves must not be more than 16 weeks in the 52-week time frame.

The leave ends when the number of weeks stated in the medical certificate has been taken. If the employee stops providing care to the adult, the leave ends at the end of the week in which the employee stops providing care. An employee can choose to return to work earlier by giving at least 14 days’ notice.

Employees who take a critically ill adult leave may qualify for a benefit under the federal government's Employment Insurance program. For more detail on this benefit, contact Service Canada.

To Take Critically Ill Adult Leave

The employee must let the employer know in writing as soon as possible of their intention to take the leave. Where the leave must begin before written notice can be given, the employee must advise the employer of the leave as soon as possible. The employee must also give the employer a plan setting out how the leave will be taken, since the leave can be broken up into more than one period over the 52-week time frame. This leave plan can be changed during the leave with the employer’s agreement or by providing the employer with reasonable notice.

The employer can ask in writing for a copy of the medical certificate.

What is the definition of a critically ill adult?

A critically ill adult is defined in the federal Employment Insurance Act regulations.  A critically ill adult is a person 18 or older who has a life-threatening illness or injury.

Who can take critically ill adult leave?

  • Immediate and extended family. Contact Labour Standards if you have questions.
  • A person like family: A person (related or not) who considers the critically ill adult to be like a close relative, or that the critically ill adult considers like a close relative. If the employer requests, the employee must provide a statement confirming this. Employees wishing to take a Leave for a person in this category must provide their employer, if requested, with a completed copy of the Family Member Attestation form, available from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). For those not applying for EI, an alternate statement may be provided; contact Labour Standards to learn more.


What is the difference between critically ill adult leave and compassionate care leave?

A critically ill adult is a person 18 or older who has a life-threatening illness or injury. For compassionate care leave, the family member (of any age) has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of dying within 26 weeks (providing what is likely to be end-of-life care). For instance, an employee may be able to take critically ill adult leave, and then, should the condition of the family member worsen, take compassionate care leave.

 
Personal and family responsibility leave (Emergency)

Leave only applies when a government agency declares an emergency because of a weather emergency, natural disaster, public health emergency or other events. The leave does not apply to personal emergencies or illnesses that are not part of a declared emergency.

The leave can be available when:

Government declares an emergency under the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Act or Health Protection Act, or under the federal Emergencies Act., or

A medical officer of health issues a directive or order applying to an individual or a group, for example directing an employee to stay home because they have a contagious disease, or

This leave is available to employees:

  • Who cannot work because of one of the emergencies or situations listed above, or
  • cannot work because they need to provide care or assistance to a family member affected by the emergency, if the employee is the only person available to provide care and support in the circumstances.
  • The family member can be any family member for whom an employee can claim Compassionate Care Leave.

The information that the employee needs to give the employer to prove that they are entitled to the emergency leave will depend on the circumstances of the emergency. For example, during a pandemic illness emergency, public health officials may advise that people not go to the doctor unless seriously ill, so requiring a medical certificate would not be reasonable.

During an emergency leave, employers must let an employee keep up at their own expense any benefits plans, if the employee chooses to do so.

The emergency leave ends when the employee:

  • Is no longer unable to work because of the emergency, or
  • No longer needs to care for a family member affected by the emergency, or
  • When the emergency ends.

When an employee returns from emergency leave the employee must be accepted back into the same position or a comparable one with no loss of seniority or benefits.

What if an employee needs pregnancy leave but has been employed for less than one year?

The employee may want to contact the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission to ask about her rights under the Human Rights Act.

 
Leave related to compassionate care

Compassionate care leave is an unpaid, 28-week leave for employees who need to care for a seriously ill family member who has a high risk of dying within 26 weeks.

To take compassionate care leave, employees must be employed for at least three months with the same employer. Also, they must give their employer as much notice as possible before taking the leave.

An employer can ask an employee to provide a medical certificate, from a medical doctor, stating that the employee’s family member is seriously ill. The employee can take up to 28 weeks' leave, which must be taken over a 52-week time frame. The leave can be broken up into several periods of at least one week in duration during the 52-week time frame. The 52-week time frame begins on the first day of the week in which the leave began.

Who decides whether a person is sick enough for their family member to take the leave?

It is up to a legally qualified medical practitioner to determine whether the family member has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of dying within 26 weeks. The employee may be required to provide a certificate from the medical practitioner.

Who is considered to be a family member?

  • the employee’s spouse (including common-law partner)
  • a parent, step-parent or foster parent of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • a child, step-child of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • a current or former foster child of the employee
  • a brother, step-brother, sister, or step-sister of the employee
  • a grandparent or step-grandparent of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
  • a grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
  • a brother-in-law, step-brother-in-law, sister-in-law or step-sister-in-law of the employee
  • a son-in-law or daughter-in-law of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
  • an uncle or aunt of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
  • the nephew or niece of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
  • the spouse of the employee’s current or former foster child, current or former guardian, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece
  • the current or former guardian of the employee
  • the current or former ward of the employee or the employee’s spouse

Compassionate Care Leave may also be taken for a person who considers the employee to be like a family member or who is considered by the employee to be like a family member.

Employees wishing to take a Leave for a person in this category must provide their employer, if requested, with a completed copy of the Compassionate Care Benefits Attestation form, available from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC), whether or not they are making an application for EI Compassionate Care Benefits.

Ontario

Leave related to critical illness

Critical illness leave is an unpaid job-protected leave of absence of up to 37 weeks in relation to a critically ill minor child, or 17 weeks in relation to a critically ill adult within a 52-week period.

Eligibility

Critical illness leave may be taken to provide care or support to a critically ill minor child or adult who is a family member of the employee for whom a qualified health practitioner has issued a certificate stating:

  • that the minor child is a critically ill minor child, or the adult is a critically ill adult who requires the care or support of one or more family members, and
  • sets out the period during which the minor child or adult requires the care or support.

A “minor child” means a child, step-child, foster child or child who is under legal guardianship, and who is under 18 years of age.

An “adult” means a person who is 18 years of age or older.

“Critically ill” means that a person’s baseline state of health has significantly changed and their life is at risk as a result of an illness or injury. It does not include chronic conditions.

A “family member” means:

  • the employee’s spouse (including a same-sex spouse)
  • a parent, step-parent or foster parent of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • a child, step-child or foster child of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • a brother, step-brother, sister, or step-sister of the employee
  • a grandparent or step-grandparent of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
  • a grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
  • a brother-in-law, step-brother-in-law, sister-in-law or step-sister-in-law of the employee
  • a son-in-law or daughter-in-law of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
  • an uncle or aunt of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
  • a nephew or niece of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
  • the spouse of the employee’s grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece
  • critical illness leave may also be taken for a person who considers the employee to be like a family member.

Employees wishing to take a critical illness leave for a person in this category must provide their employer, if requested, with a completed copy of the compassionate care benefits attestation form, available from Employment and Social Development Canada, whether or not they are making an application for EI Compassionate Care Benefits or are required to complete the form to obtain such benefits.

The specified family members do not have to live in Ontario in order for the employee to be eligible for critical illness leave.

An employee can take critical illness leave to care to a minor child who is their own child, or a minor child who is a family member from the list above (for example, a nephew, niece or grandchild).

The specified family members do not have to live in Ontario in order for the employee to be eligible for critical illness leave.

An employee can take critical illness leave to care to a minor child who is their own child, or a minor child who is a family member from the list above (for example, a nephew, niece or grandchild).

All employees who have been employed by their employer for at least six consecutive months and who are covered by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) may be entitled to critical illness leave, whether they are full-time, part-time, permanent or term contract.

Qualified health practitioner

For critical illness leave purposes, a qualified health practitioner is a person who is qualified to practice as a physician, registered nurse, or psychologist under the laws of the jurisdiction in which care or treatment is being provided. In Ontario, this includes psychiatrists and nurse practitioners.

Different types of health practitioners may be able to issue certificates in different jurisdictions; it will depend on the laws of that jurisdiction.

The medical certificate

The employee does not have to have the medical certificate before they can start the leave, but a certificate must eventually be obtained. If a certificate is never issued, the employee will not be entitled to the leave. This means that the employee would not be entitled to any of the protections afforded to employees on critical illness leave.

The certificate must:

  • name the minor child or adult
  • state that the minor child or adult is critically ill or has been critically injured (there is no requirement that the certificate specify what illness or injury the person has; it need only state that the person is critically ill or critically injured)
  • state that the minor child or adult requires the care or support of at least one family member, and
  • set out the period during which the minor child or adult requires the care or support.

An employer is entitled to ask an employee for a copy of the certificate of the qualified health practitioner to provide proof that they are eligible for a critical illness leave. The employee is required to provide the copy as soon as possible after the employer requests it.

The employee may wish to provide the health practitioner with the “Medical certificate to support entitlement to family caregiver leave, family medical leave, and/or critical illness leaves” form for him or her to fill out. It is available on the ministry’s website on the employment standards forms page.

There is no requirement that the health practitioner uses this particular form. Any certificate that states that a minor child is a critically ill or injured minor child or that an adult is a critically ill adult needing the care or support of one or more family members, and indicating the period during which the care or support will be required can be used.

The employee is responsible for obtaining and paying the costs (if any) of obtaining the certificate. The Ministry of Labour cannot assist the employee in obtaining the certificate.

If an employee is applying for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits for caregivers of critically ill minor children or adults who are family members, a copy of the medical certificate submitted to Employment and Social Development Canada may also be used for the purposes of supporting an entitlement to critical illness leave.

Employment Insurance benefits

Family members who take leave from work to provide care or support to a critically ill child may be eligible to receive Employment Insurance (EI) special benefits for caregivers of critically ill minor children who are family members for up to 35 weeks. There is a similar benefit for family members who take leave from work to care to critically ill adults for up to 15 weeks.

Interaction among different leaves

Critical illness, personal emergency, declared emergency, family caregiver, family medical, domestic or sexual violence, child death and crime-related child disappearance are different types of leaves. The purposes of the leaves, their length, the individuals with respect to whom they can be taken, and eligibility criteria vary

An employee may be entitled to more than one leave for the same event. Each leave is separate and the right to each leave is independent of any right an employee may have to the other leave(s).

Length and timing of critical illness leave

A critical illness leave taken to care for a minor child can last up to 37 weeks within a 52 week period. A critical illness leave taken to care for an adult can last up to 17 weeks.

If a medical certificate issued by a qualified health practitioner sets out a period during which the person requires care or support of a family member that is less than 37 weeks (in the case of a critically ill minor child) or less than 17 weeks (in the case of a critically ill adult), the employee is entitled to take a leave only for the period set out in the certificate.

If the certificate states that a minor child or adult is critically ill and requires the care or support of one or more family members for a period of 52 weeks or longer, the 37 or 17 weeks of leave may end no later than the last day of the 52-week period that begins on the first day of the week in which that minor child or adult became critically ill. (The employee may, however, be entitled to an “additional” leave at the end of the 52-week period – see the heading “Additional leaves” later in this chapter.)

A “week” is defined as running from Sunday to Saturday.

The weeks in which critical illness leave is taken can be consecutive, or they can be separated.

The employee may take leave for periods less than a full week (for example, single days, at the beginning, middle or end of a week) but if they do, they are considered to have used up one week of their entitlement. If the employee is on leave for two or more periods within the same week (for example, on leave on Monday and Thursday of the same week) only one week of the entitlement is used up.

The employee is entitled to be on leave only when the employee is providing care or support to the critically ill minor child or adult.

The employer cannot require the employee to take an entire week of leave if the employee only wants to take leave for a single day(s), cannot prevent the employee from working prior to taking a single day(s) of leave during a week, and cannot prevent the employee from returning to work after a single day(s) of leave during the week.

Death of a minor child or adult

If a critically ill minor child or adult dies while an employee is on a critical illness leave, the employee’s entitlement to be on leave ends at the end of the week (which is defined as being a Saturday) in which the person dies.

Sharing critical illness leave

The total amount of critical illness leave that may be taken under the ESA by one or more employees in respect of the same minor child who is critically ill is 37 weeks. For a critically ill adult, the same rule applies but the total amount of leave that may be taken is 17 weeks.

Further, leave

A qualified health practitioner might underestimate the period of time a minor child or adult will require the care or support of a family member. If the practitioner estimated the period to be less than 52 weeks but the minor child or adult is still critically ill at the end of the period set out in the certificate, a second medical certificate can be issued to allow an employee to extend their leave.

The minor child turns 18 while the employee is on critical illness leave

Employees do not lose eligibility for critical illness leave if their child turns 18 after starting the leave. If a child turns 18 after a 37-week leave has already been started, the employee would be able to complete the leave and apply for further leave if necessary. However, in order to take additional critical illness leave for a critically ill adult (up to 17 weeks), the employee would need to wait until the end of the 52-week period related to the last 37 week leave taken in relation for a minor child.

Additional leaves

If a minor child or adult remains critically ill after the 52-week period has expired, the employee is entitled to take another leave if the requirements for eligibility are met.

Notice requirements: advance notice and a written plan

An employee who intends to take critical illness leave must inform the employer in writing that they will be taking such leave and provide the employer with a written plan that indicates the weeks in which they will take the leave.

If an employee has to begin a critical illness leave before notifying the employer, they must inform the employer in writing and provide a written plan as soon as possible after starting the leave.

Change in employee’s plan

An employee may take a leave at a time other than that indicated in their original plan provided to their employer so long as the new dates fall within the dates the ESA allows, and:

  • the employee requests permission from the employer to do so in writing and the employer grants permission in writing; or
  • the employee provides the employer with reasonable advance notice of the change in writing.

There is no limit on the number of times the employee can change their plan, so long as the requirements described above are met each time.

Rights during and at the end of a critical illness leave

Employers do not have to pay wages when an employee is on critical illness leave.

Leave related to organ donations

Organ donor leave is unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 13 weeks, for the purpose of undergoing surgery to donate all or part of certain organs to a person. In some cases, organ donor leave can be extended for up to an additional 13 weeks.

Qualifying for organ donor leave

An employee is entitled to organ donor leave whether they are a full-time, part-time, permanent, or term contract employee.

To qualify for organ donor leave, the employee must:

  • Be covered by the ESA;
  • Have been employed by their employer for at least 13 weeks;
  • Undergo surgery to donate all or part of one of the following organs to another person:
    • Kidney
    • Liver
    • Lung
    • Pancreas
    • Small bowel

When an organ donor leave can begin

Generally, organ donor leave begins on the date of the surgery. It may begin on an earlier date, as specified in a certificate issued by a legally qualified medical practitioner.

Length of an organ donor leave

The employee may take leave for up to 13 weeks. The employee may extend the leave if a legally qualified medical practitioner issues a certificate stating that the employee is not yet able to perform the duties of their position because of the organ donation, and will not be able to do so for a specified period of time. The employee is entitled to extend the leave for the specified period of time.

The leave may be extended more than once, but the total period of extension must not be more than 13 weeks. Therefore, where the leave is extended, the maximum amount of time allowed for organ donor leave is 26 weeks in total.  Employees may also have the right to personal emergency leave

Notice requirements

An employee who wishes to take organ donor leave must provide the employer with at least two weeks’ written notice both before beginning or extending the leave, if possible. If this is not possible, the employee must provide written notice as soon as possible after beginning or extending the leave. However, if the employee does not provide notice to begin the leave, provided the employee meets the requisite criteria, the employee still has the right to take the leave.

The employee may end the leave early by giving the employer at least two weeks’ advance written notice.

Medical certificate

The employer may ask the employee to provide a medical certificate for the following reasons:

  • Confirming that the employee has undergone or will undergo surgery to donate an organ;
  • When the employee is to begin the leave if it is before the day of the organ donation surgery; and/or
  • To extend a leave for a period of time because the employee is not yet able to perform the duties of their position.

The employee must provide the certificate to the employer as soon as possible after the employer’s request.

Rights during leave

Employees who take organ donor leave are entitled to the same rights as employees who take pregnancy or parental leave. For example, employers cannot threaten, fire or penalize in any way an employee who takes or plans on taking an organ donor leave. See “Rights during pregnancy and parental leaves.”

The employee’s entitlement to organ donor leave is in addition to any personal emergency leave entitlement the employee may have.

Employees who take critical illness leave are entitled to the same rights as employees who take pregnancy or parental leave. For example, an employer cannot threaten, fire or penalize in any other way an employee for taking, planning on taking, being eligible or being in a position to become eligible to take a critical illness leave.

 
Personal and family responsibility leave

Family medical leave is unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 28 weeks in a 52-week period.

Family medical leave may be taken to provide care or support to certain family members and people who consider the employee to be like a family member in respect of whom a qualified health practitioner has issued a certificate indicating that they have a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death occurring within a period of 26 weeks. Family caregiver leave is another job-protected leave available under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) for employees with certain relatives who have a serious medical condition. One of the main differences between family medical leave and family caregiver leave is that an employee may be eligible for family caregiver leave even if the family member who has a serious medical condition does not have a significant risk of death occurring within a period of 26 weeks. Employees may also be entitled to take critical illness leave to provide care or support to a minor child or adult who is a family member, whose baseline state of health has changed significantly and whose life is at risk from an illness or injury. Critical illness leave may be taken for up to 17 weeks to care for an adult, and up to 37 weeks to care for a minor child.

Note that if an employee has a certificate issued by a qualified health practitioner before January 1, 2018, to support their entitlement to family medical leave, then the rules for family medical leave before January 1, 2018, apply to that employee. What this means is that the employee with a pre-January 1, 2018 certificate would be entitled to take up to 8 weeks of family medical leave within a 26-week period, and would have to wait until that 26-week period was over to potentially become eligible for the 28-week period of leave.

Eligibility

All employees, whether full-time, part-time, permanent or term contract, who are covered by the ESA are entitled to family medical leave.

There is no requirement that an employee is employed for a particular length of time, or that the employer employs a specified number of employees in order for the employee to qualify for family medical leave.

Care or support includes, but is not limited to providing psychological or emotional support; arranging for care by a third party provider, or directly providing or participating in the care of the family member.

The specified family members for whom a family medical leave may be taken are:

  • the employee's spouse (including same-sex spouse)
  • a parent, step-parent or foster parent of the employee or the employee's spouse
  • a child, step-child or foster child of the employee or the employee's spouse
  • a brother, step-brother, sister, or step-sister of the employee
  • a grandparent or step-grandparent of the employee or of the employee's spouse
  • a grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee or of the employee's spouse
  • a brother-in-law, step-brother-in-law, sister-in-law or step-sister-in-law of the employee
  • a son-in-law or daughter-in-law of the employee or of the employee's spouse
  • an uncle or aunt of the employee or of the employee's spouse
  • a nephew or niece of the employee or of the employee's spouse
  • the spouse of the employee's grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece

family medical leave may also be taken for a person who considers the employee to be like a family member. Employees wishing to take a family medical leave for a person in this category must provide their employer, if requested, with a completed copy of the compassionate care benefits attestation form, available from Employment and Social Development Canada, whether or not they are making an application for EI Compassionate Care Benefits or are required to complete the form to obtain such benefits.

The specified family members do not have to live in Ontario in order for the employee to be eligible for family medical leave.

Employment insurance benefits

Under the federal Employment Insurance Act, 26 weeks of employment insurance benefits (called "compassionate care benefits") may be paid to EI eligible employees who have to be away from work temporarily to provide care to a family member who has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks and who requires care or support from one or more family members.

The right to take time off work under the family medical leave provisions of the ESA is not the same as the right to the payment of compassionate care benefits under the federal Employment Insurance Act. An employee may be entitled to family medical leave whether or not they have applied for or is qualified for compassionate care benefits.

Interaction between family medical and personal emergency, family caregiver, critical illness, domestic or sexual violence, child death, and crime-related child disappearance leave

Family medical, personal emergency, declared emergency, family caregiver, critical illness, domestic or sexual violence, child death, and crime-related child disappearance are different types of leaves. For example, the purposes of the leaves, their length, the individuals with respect to whom they can be taken, and eligibility criteria are different.

An employee may be entitled to more than one leave for the same event. Each leave is separate and the right to each leave is independent of any right an employee may have to the other leave(s).

Length of family medical leave

A family medical leave can last up to 28 weeks within a specified 52-week period.

"Week" is defined for family medical leave purposes as a period of seven consecutive days beginning on a Sunday and ending on a Saturday.

The 52-week period starts on the first day of the week in which the 26-week period specified in the medical certificate begins.

The 28 weeks of a family medical leave do not have to be taken consecutively. An employee may, therefore, take a single week of leave at a time. However, if an employee only takes part of a week off work as family medical leave, it is still counted as a full week of leave.

That is because "week" is defined for family medical leave purposes as a period of seven consecutive days beginning on a Sunday and ending on a Saturday. Week is defined in this way to correspond with the beginning and end of the week set for EI entitlement purposes.

Note that the maximum length of family medical leave for an employee with a certificate issued by a qualified health practitioner before January 1, 2018, is eight weeks, to be taken within a period of 26 weeks.

Where an employee provides care or support for only part of a week

Employees will not always need or want to take an entire week off to provide care or support to the individual.

In any week (which is defined as running from Sunday to Saturday), an employee’s right to take family medical leave only begins on the first day the employee is providing care or support.

If the employee stops providing care or support before the end of that week, the employee is entitled to be on leave until the end of the week, and they can return to work only if the employer agrees. (The agreement does not have to be in writing.)

Even if an employee only takes part of a week off work as family medical leave, it is still counted as one week of the twenty-eight-week entitlement.

Sharing family medical leave

The 28 weeks of family medical leave must be shared by all employees in Ontario who take a family medical leave under the ESA to provide care or support to a specified family member.

Taking more than 28 weeks of family medical leave

If an employee qualifies for family medical leave, the employee may take up to 28 weeks within the 52-week period running from the beginning of the 26-week period stated in the certificate. If the family member does not pass away by the point that the 26-week period ends, the employee can remain on leave until all 28 weeks have been used up, and another medical certificate does not have to be issued with the 52-week period set by the certificate.

If an employee has taken a family medical leave to care for a family member who has not passed away within the 52-week period starting on the first day of the week in the 26-week period specified in the medical certificate, and a health practitioner issues another certificate stating that the family member has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks, the employee would be entitled to an additional 28-weeks of family medical leave.

As long as a health practitioner continues to issue additional certificates, an employee will be entitled to additional leaves with respect to the same family member.

Whether or not this employee would be eligible for any or further EI benefits would be a matter to be determined by the federal Employment Insurance Commission.

Family medical leave for additional family members

If an employee has more than one specified family member who has a serious illness with a significant risk of death within a period of 26 weeks, the employee will be entitled to a 28 -week family medical leave for each of the specified family members.

The timing of family medical leave

If a qualified health practitioner issues a certificate stating that a specified family member has a serious medical condition and there is a significant risk of death occurring within a period of 26 weeks, an employee must take the family medical leave within the 52-week period starting on the first day of the week the 26-week period begins.

Where two or more certificates are obtained by two or more employees wishing to take leave with respect to the same family member, the 52-week period within which the family medical leave must be taken is determined by whichever certificate was issued first.

Earliest date a family medical leave can begin

The earliest an employee may start the leave is the first day of the week in which the 26-week period identified on the medical certificate begins.

"Week" is defined for the purposes of family medical leave as a period of seven consecutive days, beginning on a Sunday and ending on a Saturday. If the date indicated on the certificate is a day other than a Sunday, the 26 week period will run from the preceding Sunday. Likewise, regardless of what day of the week the employee actually begins the leave, the week of family medical leave would be considered to have begun on the preceding Sunday.

Last date of a family medical leave

There are three important periods of time relating to family medical leave:

  • the 26-week period specified in the medical certificate within which the family member has a significant risk of death
  • the 52-week period that starts on the first day of the week in which the 26-week period specified in the medical certificate begins.
  • the 28 weeks of family medical leave.

The latest day an employee can remain on leave is:

  • the last day of the week in which the family member dies,
  • the last day of the week in which the 52-week period expires
  • the last day of the 28 weeks of family medical leave,

whichever is earlier.

Based on the definition of “week” for family medical leave, the last day an employee can be on leave will always be a Saturday.

Medical certificate

The employee does not have to have the medical certificate before they can start the leave, but a certificate must eventually be obtained. If a certificate is never issued, the employee will not be entitled to the leave. This means that the employee would not be entitled to any of the protections afforded to employees on family medical leave.

An employer is entitled to ask an employee for a copy of the certificate of the qualified health practitioner to provide proof that they are eligible for a family medical leave. The employee is required to provide the copy as soon as possible after the employer requests it. The certificate must name the family member and state that the family member has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death occurring within a specified 26-week period. There is no requirement that the notice specify what the medical condition is; it need only state that it is serious and that there is a significant risk of death occurring within a 26-week period.

The employee may wish to use the Ministry’s “Medical certificate to support entitlement to family caregiver leave, family medical leave, and/or critical illness leave” form when obtaining the medical certificate. It is available on the ministry’s website on the employment standards forms page.

The employee is responsible for obtaining and paying the costs (if any) of obtaining the certificate. The Ministry of Labour cannot assist the employee in obtaining the certificate.

If an employee is applying for Employment Insurance (EI) compassionate care benefits, a copy of the medical certificate submitted to Employment and Social Development Canada may also be used for the purposes of supporting an entitlement to family medical leave.

Qualified health practitioner

For the purposes of family medical leave, a qualified health practitioner is a person who is qualified to practice medicine under the laws of the jurisdiction in which care or treatment of the family member is being provided. A qualified health practitioner can also be a nurse practitioner (a holder of an extended certificate of registration under the Nursing Act, 1991).

In Ontario, only a medical doctor or a nurse practitioner can issue a certificate. Different types of health practitioners with equivalent qualifications may be able to issue certificates in different jurisdictions - it will depend on the laws of that jurisdiction.

Notice requirements

An employee must inform the employer in writing that they will be taking a family medical leave of absence.

If an employee has to begin a family medical leave before notifying the employer, they must inform the employer in writing as soon as possible after starting the leave.

If the employee does not take the 28-week leave all at once, the employee is required to provide notice to the employer each time the employee begins a new part of the leave.

An employee who does not give notice does not lose their right to a family medical leave.

While an employee is required to tell the employer in advance that they are taking a leave (or, if this is not possible, as soon as possible after starting the leave), the employee will not lose the right to take family medical leave if the employee fails to do so. An employer may discipline an employee who does not properly inform the employer, but only if the reason for the discipline is the failure to properly notify the employer and not in any way because the employee took the leave.

Rights during and at the end of a family medical leave

Employers do not have to pay wages when an employee is on family medical leave.

Employees who take family medical leave are entitled to the same rights as employees who take pregnancy or parental leave. For example, An employer cannot threaten, fire or penalize in any other way an employee for taking, planning on taking, being eligible or being in a position to become eligible to take a family medical leave. See "Rights during pregnancy and parental leaves."

Leave related to compassionate care

A member who has a serious medical condition has a significant risk of death occurring within a period of 26 weeks. Employees may also be entitled to take critical illness leave to provide care or support to a minor child or adult who is a family member, whose baseline state of health has changed significantly and whose life is at risk from an illness or injury. Critical illness leave may be taken for up to 17 weeks to care for an adult, and up to 37 weeks to care for a minor child.

Eligibility

All employees, whether full-time, part-time, permanent or term contract, who are covered by the ESA, may be entitled to family caregiver leave.

There is no requirement that an employee is employed for a particular length of time, or that the employer employs a specific number of employees for the employee to qualify for family caregiver leave.

Care or support includes, but is not limited to: providing psychological or emotional support; arranging for care by a third-party provider; or directly providing or participating in the care of the family member.

The specified family members for whom a family caregiver leave may be taken are:

  • the employee’s spouse (including a same-sex spouse)
  • a parent, step-parent or foster parent of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • a child, step-child or foster child of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • a grandparent or step-grandparent of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • a grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • a spouse of a child of the employee
  • a brother or sister of the employee
  • a relative of the employee who is dependent on the employee for care or assistance.
  • The specified family members do not have to live in Ontario for the employee to be eligible for family caregiver leave.

Qualified health practitioner

For family caregiver leave purposes, a qualified health practitioner is a person who is qualified to practice as a physician, registered nurse or psychologist under the laws of the jurisdiction in which care or treatment is being provided. In Ontario, this includes psychiatrists and nurse practitioners.

Different types of health practitioners may be able to issue certificates in different jurisdictions; it will depend on the laws of the jurisdiction.

The medical certificate

The employee does not have to have the medical certificate before they can start the leave, but a certificate must eventually be obtained. If a certificate is never issued, the employee will not be entitled to the leave. This means that the employee would not be entitled to any of the protections afforded to employees on family caregiver leave.

The certificate from the qualified health practitioner must name the individual and state that the individual has a serious medical condition. There is no requirement that the note specify what the medical condition is; it need only state that it is “serious.” This can include conditions that are chronic or episodic.

If a medical certificate sets out a period during which the individual will have a serious medical condition, the certificate will support absences as family caregiver leave during that period. If no period is set out, the certificate will support absences as family caregiver leave from the date it is issued until the end of the calendar year in which it is issued.

An employer is entitled to ask an employee for a copy of the certificate to provide proof that they are eligible for a family caregiver leave. The employee is required to provide the copy as soon as possible after the request.

The employee may wish to provide the health practitioner with a copy of the “Medical certificate to support entitlement to family caregiver leave, family medical leave, and/or critical illness leave” form to fill out. The health practitioner is not required to use this particular form; any certificate stating that the patient has a serious medical condition can be used.

The employee is responsible for obtaining and paying the costs (if any) of obtaining the certificate. The Ministry of Labour cannot assist the employee in obtaining the certificate.

Interaction among different leaves

Family caregiver, personal emergency, declared emergency family medical, critical illness, domestic or sexual violence, child death, and crime-related child disappearance are different types of leaves. The purposes of the leaves, their length, the individuals with respect to whom they can be taken and the eligibility criteria vary.

An employee may be entitled to more than one leave for the same event. Each leave is separate and the right to each leave is independent of any right an employee may have to the other leave(s).

Length of family caregiver leave

A family caregiver leave can last up to eight weeks per calendar year for each specified family member. A “week” is defined as running from Sunday to Saturday.

The eight weeks can be taken consecutively or separately.

The employee may take leave for periods less than a full week (for example, single days, at the beginning, middle or end of a week), but if they do, they are considered to have used up one week of their eight-week entitlement. If the employee is on leave for two or more periods within the same week (for example, on leave on Monday and Thursday of the same week), only one week of the eight-week entitlement is used up.

The employee is entitled to be on leave only when the employee is providing care or support to a specified family member.

The employer cannot require the employee to take an entire week of leave if the employee only wants to take leave for a single day(s), cannot prevent the employee from working prior to taking a single day(s) of leave during a week, and cannot prevent the employee from returning to work after a single day(s) of leave during the week.

Notice requirements

An employee must inform the employer in writing that they will be taking a family caregiver leave of absence.

If an employee has to begin a family caregiver leave before notifying the employer, they must inform the employer in writing as soon as possible after starting the leave.

If the employee does not take the eight-week leave all at once, the employee is required to provide notice to the employer with respect to each part of the leave.

While an employee is required to tell the employer in advance that they are taking a leave (or, if this is not possible, as soon as possible after starting the leave), the employee will not lose the right to take family caregiver leave if the employee fails to do so.

An employer may discipline an employee who does not properly inform the employer, but only if the reason for the discipline is the failure to properly notify the employer and not in ANY way because the employee took the leave.

Rights during and at the end of a family caregiver leave

Employers do not have to pay wages when an employee is on family caregiver leave.

Employees who take family caregiver leave are entitled to the same rights as employees who take pregnancy or parental leave. For example, an employer cannot threaten, fire or penalize in any other way an employee for taking, planning on taking, being eligible or being in a position to become eligible to take a family caregiver leave.

Prince Edward Island

Is an employee entitled to paid sick leave?

After six months of continuous service with an employer, an employee is entitled to unpaid leaves of absence of up to three days for sick leave during a twelve-month period. If the employee takes three consecutive days, the employer may ask for a medical certificate.

Employees who have more than five years of continuous service with the same employer are entitled to one day of paid sick leave and up to three days of unpaid sick leave each calendar year.

Leave related to critical illness

An employee is entitled to an unpaid leave of absence of up to 37 weeks within a 52-week period to provide care and support to a critically ill child. A critically ill child is someone under 18 years of age whose life is at risk as a result of an illness or an injury.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the leave, an employee must be:

  • employed for a continuous period of at least three months by the same employer, and
  • is a parent of the child. A parent includes someone who is an adoptive/foster parent; a guardian or a spouse of a parent of the child.

When can I take the leave?

An employee must take the leave of absence in intervals of at least one week within the 52 week period. 

The leave begins on the first day of the work week when either: 

  • a medical practitioner issues a certificate regarding the critically ill child; or, 
  • the employee begins the leave before the certificate is issued. 

The leave ends when either the child dies or the employee has taken 37 weeks of leave within the period of 52 weeks. 

When an employee is a parent of two or more critically ill children, the leave begins on the first day of the work week when either: 

  • a medical practitioner issues a certificate regarding the critically ill child; or, 
  • the employee begins the leave before the certificate is issued. 

The leave ends when either the last of the critically ill children die or the employee has taken 37 weeks of leave within the period of 52 weeks. 

The total amount of unpaid leave taken by two or more employees cannot exceed 37 weeks.

What do I need to apply?

An employee must provide a copy of the medical certificate if the employer makes a written request. When an employee returns to work following the end of the leave, the employee must be accepted back into the same position or a comparable one with no loss of wages or benefits.

Leave related to compassionate care

How much compassionate care leave can I take?

An employee can take up to eight weeks of unpaid leave to provide care and support to a member of the employee's family who has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition carrying with it a significant risk of death within 26 weeks.

Family includes:

  • spouse/common-law spouse
  •  child
  • Parent
  • brother/sister
  •  grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law
  • aunt, uncle, niece, nephew
  •  foster parent, ward or guardian
  • or any other person who the employee considers to be like a person described as family

 

Personal and family responsibility leave

An employee with six months of continuous service with the same employer, can take unpaid leaves of absence up to three days during a twelve-month period to meet immediate and extended family responsibilities.

Immediate family member:

  • spouse
  • child
  • parent
  • brother or sister
  • Extended family member:
  • grandparent
  • grandchild
  • aunt/uncle
  • brother-in-law/sister-in-law
  • mother-in-law/father-in-law
  • son-in-law/daughter-in-law
 

Quebec

Personal Sick Leave

Is an employer required to pay sick days to an employee who is absent?

No. The Act respecting labour standards does not provide for paid leaves in case of sickness or accident. The decision lies with the employer.

Long-term leave related to critical illness or injury

An employee who has 3 months of uninterrupted service with the same employer may be absent from work, without pay:

  • for up to 26 weeks per 12-month period, if he is sick, he has effectuated an organ or tissue donation for transplant or the victim of an accident

  • for up to 104 weeks if he suffered serious injuries following a crime.

Consult section Victim of a crime for more details.

In all cases of an extended absence, the employee must notify his employer as soon as possible of his absence and the reasons for it. The employer may ask the employee, notably concerning the length of the absence or its repetitive nature, for a document attesting to the reasons for his absence.

When the employee returns to work, the employer must reinstate him in his former position and grant him the wages and the benefits that he would have been entitled to have if he remained at work.

If his position has been abolished, the employee retains the same rights and privileges that he would have enjoyed had he remained at work.

However, these provisions must not give the employee an advantage that he would not have enjoyed had he remained at work.

If the employee continues to make contributions to the various group insurance and pension plans during his leave, the employer must do likewise. If the employer does not, he is liable to legal proceedings under section 122 of the Act respecting labour standards.

Please note that the employee cannot benefit from these leaves if his absence is recognized as an employment injury within the meaning of the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases.

Leave related to critical illness for a family member

Short Term

An employee may be absent from work for 10 days per year, without pay:

  • to fulfil obligations related to the care, health or education of his child or the child of his spouse

due to the state of health:

  • of his spouse
  • of his father or mother
  • of his brother or sister
  • of one of his grandparents.

These leaves may be divided into days. Days may also be divided with the employer’s authorization.

The employee must notify his employer as soon possible and take all means to limit the taking and duration of these leaves.

Extended Absence

An employee credited with 3 months of service with the same employer may be absent from work, without pay:

  • up to 12 weeks per year if his presence is required owing to an accident or serious illness involving:
  • his child
  • his spouse
  • the child of his spouse
  • his father or mother
  • the spouse of his father or mother
  • his brother or sister
  • one of his grandparents.

The employee may request an extension of:

  • up to 104 weeks if his minor child suffers from a potentially fatal serious illness
  • up to 104 weeks if his presence is required with his minor child who was the victim of a crime
  • up to 104 weeks when the death of his child or his spouse results from a crime
  • up to 52 weeks following the disappearance of his minor child
  • up to 52 weeks following the suicide of his child or his spouse.
Leave related to organ donations

An employee who has 3 months of uninterrupted service with the same employer may be absent from work, without pay:

  • for up to 26 weeks per 12-month period, if he is sick, he has effectuated an organ or tissue donation for transplant or the victim of an accident
  • for up to 104 weeks if he suffered serious injuries following a crime.

In all cases of an extended absence, the employee must notify his employer as soon as possible of his absence and the reasons for it. The employer may ask the employee, notably concerning the length of the absence or its repetitive nature, for a document attesting to the reasons for his absence.

When the employee returns to work, the employer must reinstate him in his former position and grant him the wages and the benefits that he would have been entitled to had he remained at work.

If his position has been abolished, the employee retains the same rights and privileges that he would have enjoyed had he remained at work.

However, these provisions must not give the employee an advantage that he would not have enjoyed had he remained at work.

If the employee continues to make contributions to the various group insurance and pension plans during his leave, the employer must do likewise. If the employer does not, he is liable to legal proceedings under section 122 of the Act respecting labour standards.

Please note that the employee cannot benefit from these leaves if his absence is recognized as an employment injury within the meaning of the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases.

 
Personal and family responsibility leave

An employee may be absent from work for 10 days per year, without pay:

  • to fulfil obligations related to the care, health or education of his child or the child of his spouse

due to the state of health:

  • of his spouse
  • of his father or mother
  • of his brother or sister
  • of one of his grandparents.

These leaves may be divided into days. Days may also be divided with the employer’s authorization.

The employee must notify his employer as soon possible and take all means to limit the taking and duration of these leaves.

An employee credited with 3 months of service with the same employer may be absent from work, without pay:

  • up to 12 weeks per year if his presence is required owing to an accident or serious illness involving:
  • his child
  • his spouse
  • the child of his spouse
  • his father or mother
  • the spouse of his father or mother
  • his brother or sister
  • one of his grandparents.

The employee may request an extension of:

  • up to 104 weeks if his minor child suffers from a potentially fatal serious illness
  • up to 104 weeks if his presence is required with his minor child who was the victim of a crime
  • up to 104 weeks when the death of his child or his spouse results from a crime
  • up to 52 weeks following the disappearance of his minor child
  • up to 52 weeks following the suicide of his child or his spouse.

Is an employer required to pay sick days to an employee who is absent?

No. The Act respecting labour standards does not provide for paid leaves in case of sickness or accident. The decision lies with the employer.

Saskatchewan

Leave related to critical illness

Critically-Ill Child Care leave is an unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 37 weeks. Parents are eligible for this leave to provide care or support to a critically ill or injured child. Eligible parents who take this leave from work may be eligible to receive. 

An employee must have worked with the employer for at least 13 weeks to be eligible for this leave. Written notice must be provided to the employer as soon as possible before the leave begins. The employee must also notify the employer as soon as possible on their return date.

Upon returning, an employee is entitled to return to the same job if the employees leave is for 60 days or less. If the leave is longer than 60 days, the employee can be reinstated to a comparable job. The employee must receive at least the same wage and benefits as before the leave.

Leave related to organ donations

Organ Donation leave is unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 26 weeks, for the purpose of undergoing surgery to donate all or part of a certain organ to a person. 

An employee must have worked with the employer for at least 13 weeks to be eligible for this leave. Written notice must be provided to the employer as soon as possible before the leave begins. The employee must also notify the employer as soon as possible with their return date. An employer may also ask for a medical certificate along with the notice.

Upon return, an employee is entitled to return to the same job if the employment leave is for 60 days or less. If the leave is longer than 60 days, the employee can be reinstated to a comparable job. The employee must receive at least the same wage and benefits as before the leave.

 

Leave related to compassionate care

Compassionate Care leave is an unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 28 weeks. This can be taken in single or multiple blocks of time within a 52-week period providing no block is shorter than one week in duration. The leave is intended to provide employees with the opportunity to provide care and support to a family member who is gravely ill and who has a significant risk of death within 26 weeks.

You can receive compassionate care benefits for a variety of family members—both yours and those of your spouse or common-law partner.

  

Your family members

Family members of your spouse or common-law partner

  • Children
  • Wife, husband, common-law partner
  • Father, mother
  • Father's wife, mother's husband
  • Common-law partner of the father or the mother
  • Brothers, sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters
  • Grandparents, step-grandparents
  • Grandchildren, their spouses or common-law partners
  • Sons-in-law, daughters-in-law (married or common law)
  • Father-in-law, mother-in-law (married or common law)
  • Brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law (married or common law)
  • Uncles, aunts, their spouses or common-law partners
  • Nephews, nieces, their spouses or common-law partners
  • Current or former foster parents
  • Current or former foster children, their spouses or common-law partners
  • Current or former wards
  • Current or former guardians, their spouses or common-law partners
  • Children
  • Father, mother (married or common law)
  • Father's wife, mother's husband
  • Common-law partner of the father or the mother of your spouse or common-law partner
  • Brothers, sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters
  • Grandparents
  • Grandchildren
  • Sons-in-law, daughters-in-law (married or common law)
  • Uncles, aunts
  • Nephews, nieces
  • Current or former foster parents
  • Current or former wards

 

Eligibility

To be eligible for this leave, an employee must have worked with the employer for more than 13 consecutive weeks. Written notice must be provided to the employer as soon as possible before the leave begins. At the employer’s request, the employee must provide a doctor’s note. Employees who take this leave may be eligible for Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits through Service Canada. The employee must notify the employer of their intended return to work date as soon as possible. 

The employee can return to the same job if the leave is 60 days or less. The employer may reinstate the employee into a comparable job if the leave is longer than 60 days. The employee must receive at least the same rate of pay and benefits as before the leave.

 

Yukon

Sick Leave

An employee is entitled to a maximum of 12 days of unpaid sick leave. The leave is earned at the rate of 1 day per completed month of employment. Sick leave cannot be carried over to another calendar or fiscal year.

Is a doctor's note required?

An employer can require an employee who is claiming sick leave to produce a medical certificate.

Can an employee that is ill or injured be fired?

No employer shall dismiss or lay off an employee solely because of the employee’s absence due to illness or injury if the period of absence does not exceed the employee’s entitlement to sick leave.

Leave related to critical illness

This leave provides job protection for an employee who is the parent of a critically ill child. This leave entitles a parent to a leave of absence without pay from employment for a period of up to 37 weeks in order to care for or support that child.

The employee must have completed six (6) months of continuous employment with an employer. A medical certificate must be supplied

The leave may be shared by two or more employees in respect to the same child or children who are critically ill as a result of the same event. This leave may not exceed 37 weeks.

 
Leave related to compassionate care

Compassionate Care Leave may allow an employee up to 8 weeks of unpaid leave and job protection to provide care or support to a family member with a serious medical condition and a significant risk of death within a specified 26 week period.

Employees regulated by the Employment Standards Act qualify for Compassionate Care Leave. There is no length of service required to qualify for this leave, but a medical certificate is necessary before the leave is taken. The employer must be provided with a copy of the medical certificate on request.

Compassionate Care Leave under the Employment Standards Act entitles an employee to leave without pay for up to 8 weeks, and protects the employee’s job until the expiration of the leave. Employees may qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) and are encouraged to contact Service Canada to obtain this information

The leave may be broken up, but must be taken in minimum blocks of 1 week. The leave may be shared between 2 or more employees and may be taken outside of Canada.

Compassionate Care Leave provides employees with the right to job protection. Employees who take Compassionate Care Leave must be reinstated in their former positions or be given a comparable position in the same location and with the same wages and benefits. The employer may not dismiss or discipline the employee for taking this leave and the employee’s years of service remains continuous while on this leave.

Northwest Territories

Is an employee entitled to be paid for sick leave? 

No. Sick leave is addressed in the Employment Standards Act as unpaid leave. The Act states that an employee is entitled to 5 days of sick leave, without pay, in a 12 month period.  A doctor's note does not require the employer to grant an employee time off pursuant to the Act.

[Section 29 of the Employment Standards Act]

 
Leave related to compassionate care

The Employee will be granted up to a maximum of eight weeks to provide care or support to a gravely ill family member at risk of dying within 26 weeks.

Family member means:

  • your spouse,
  • your child or your spouse’s child,
  • your parent or your spouse’s parent and,
  • any other person who is a member of a class of persons prescribed in subsection 23.1(1) of the Employment Insurance Act (Canada);

 

Care or support to a family member means:

  • providing psychological or emotional support;
  • arranging for care by a third party; or
  • directly providing or participating in the care.
  • Compassionate care leave may be taken over one or more periods. Each period of compassionate care leave must be at least one (1) week.

When requesting compassionate care, you must provide a medical certificate indicating the ill family member needs care or support and is at risk of dying within 26 weeks.

If the family member dies while you are on leave without pay for compassionate care, the leave without pay for compassionate care ceases.

 

 

Nunavut

Leave related to compassionate care

Every employee is entitled to and shall be granted a leave of absence from employment for up to eight weeks to provide care or support to a family member if a qualified medical practitioner issues a certificate stating that the family member has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within twenty-six weeks from

  • the day the certificate is issued; or
  • if the leave was commenced before the certificate was issued, the day the leave was commenced. a leave of absence may only be taken in periods of not less than one-week duration.

 

Prohibited action by the employer

No employer shall dismiss, suspend, lay off, demote or discipline an employee because an employee has applied for leave under the pregnancy/parental/compassionate care provisions of the labour standards act.