COMPASSIONATE CARE LEAVE
Earlier this year (February 1/14) with the implementation Bill 203 the Province of Alberta’s, Employment Standards Code now contains provisions for Compassionate Care Leave for Employees.
What is Compassionate Care Leave?
Compassionate Care leave is a leave that can be taken from work to care for a gravely ill family member who has a significant risk of death within 26 weeks.
How Much Time Does the Employer Have To Provide for Compassionate Care Leave?
Up to eight (8) weeks leave. The eight weeks of leave may be split into two sections and must be taken within a 26 week period.
Does the Employer Have to Pay the Employee for Compassionate Care Leave?
No. The leave is unpaid leave. Six (6) weeks of EI benefits may be available for some employees. The employee will need to check with Service Canada Employment Insurance in regard to eligibility.
What Other Requirements Exist For Employers?
- Employers are required to provide the leave on a job-protected basis which means that the employee must be able to return to their same or a comparable job with all of the same earnings and other benefits the employee had prior to the leave starting.
- Employees cannot be dismissed or laid or off when on compassionate care leave.
What Are the Requirements for Eligibility for Compassionate Care Leave?
- Employees must have worked for at least 52 weeks for their existing employer to be eligible
- Employees must provide their employer with a certificate signed by the attending physician regarding the grave condition of the family member and his/her need for care by one or more family members
- The employee must be the primary care giver of the ill family member
- The employee must give the employer two weeks’ notice unless there are circumstances that necessitate a shorter notice period.
What does Family Member mean?
Under Compassionate Care Leave, a family member is:
- the spouse or common law partner of the employee,
- a child of the employee or employee or the common law partner,
- a parent of the employee or spouse or common law partner
- any other person who is a member of the class of persons designed by the regulations including grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and other relations including person who the employee considers to be like a close family member whether or not related by blood for whom the employee has the primary responsibility for providing care or support