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Compassionate Care Leave

What is Compassionate Care Leave?

Compassionate care leave enables an employee to receive up to 8 weeks of unpaid leave to provide care to a family member who has a serious medical condition and a significant risk of death within a specified 26 week period.

(section 43.14(1) of the Labour Standards Act)

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Who is eligible for compassionate care leave?

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

(section 43.14(1) of the Labour Standards Act)

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For which family members can an employee take 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 common-law partner’s family:

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

(section 11.1 of the Labour Standards Regulations)

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Other than relatives or family members, are there other individuals for whom an employee may take Compassionate Care Leave?

Yes, an employee may take compassionate care leave to care for an individual with a serious medical condition who, although not related to the employee by blood, adoption, marriage, or common-law partnership, considers the employee to be like a close relative.

(section 11.1(0) of the Labour Standards Regulations)

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How much notice of their intention to take compassionate care leave must an employee give?

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 qualified medical 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.

(section 43.15 (1)(2)(3)(4) of the Labour Standards Act)

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Must an employee give written notice to change compassionate care leave?

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.

(section 43.15(3) of the Labour Standards Act)

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Does an employee have to take all 8 weeks at one time?

No, the leave may be broken up but it must be taken in minimum blocks of 1 week.

(section 43.14(6) of the Labour Standards Act)

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What happens when the employee returns to work from compassionate care 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 compassionate care leave.

(section 43.16(3) of the Labour Standards Act)

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What effect does being on compassionate care leave have on an employee’s entitlements under the Labour Standards Act?

The period of time spent on compassionate care leave will not be considered a break in an employee’s service when it comes to the accumulation of time for the purposes of vacation entitlement and notice of termination or other benefits under the Act.

(section 43.16 of the Labour Standards Act)

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