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December 18, 2013
Ontario introduces three new leaves of absence

The Ontario government has introduced legislation to add three new unpaid leaves of absences to that province’s Employment Standards Act.

The new leaves include the following:

1. Family caregiver leave.  An employee will be allowed to take up to eight weeks of unpaid leave to care for the following relations who have a serious medical condition:  their spouse; parent, step-parent or foster parent of the employee or his/her spouse; a child, step-child or foster child of the employee or his/her spouse; the grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee or his/her spouse; the grandparent or step-grandparent of the employee or spouse; the spouse of a child of the employee; the employee’s brother or sister; a relative who is dependent on the employee for care or assistance; and, any individual prescribed as a family member.

2. Critically ill child care leave.  This program would allow the employee of a critically ill child under the age of 18 to take up to 37 weeks to care for a child whose life is at risk due to illness or injury.

3. Crime-related death or disappearance leave.  This leave would allow parents to take up to 104 weeks of unpaid leave if their child under age 18 died as a result of a crime.   It would also provide up to 52 weeks if a child, step-child, or foster child under age 18 has disappeared as a result of a probable crime.  This leave is similar to that introduced earlier in 2013 by the federal government (see the April 2013 edition of the Coughlin Courier for background.)

All of the above leaves have minimum requirements for length of employment, medical conditions, and confirming documentation.

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