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News



May 08, 2013
Family leave benefits extended

The federal government has passed legislation extending the Canada Labour Code’s family leave provisions to cover parents of critically ill children as well as parents of children who have been victims of violent crime.

The new provisions include the following:

1. Employees who are parents of critically ill children will be permitted to take up to 52 weeks of unpaid leave.  They will also be entitled to apply for 35 weeks
of Employment Insurance benefits.

2. Where a child disappears as a result of a probable crime, the parent will be eligible for 52 weeks of unpaid leave.  They will also be entitled to apply for 35 weeks of Employment Insurance benefits to a maximum of $350 per week.

3. Employed parents of children who have died as a result of a crime will be entitled to up to 104 weeks of unpaid leave.  During that time, they will be entitled to apply for 35 weeks of Employment Insurance benefits to a maximum of $350 per week.

Employers are prohibited from taking punitive actions against employees who make use of these new leave of absence provisions.  However, employers may ask for medical certificates or other reasonable evidence to prove that a child has a critical illness, disappeared, or has been a victim of crime.

Children must be under the age of 18.

To qualify for the benefits, employees must have six continuous months of employment with their employer.  Employees who are charged with a criminal offence that led to their child’s death or disappearance are not eligible for coverage.

The new rules apply only to federally regulated industries.

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