What is crime-related death or disappearance leave?
Crime-related death or disappearance leave is an unpaid leave that allows parents who are facing the death or disappearance of their child (under 18 years of age) resulting from a probable crime to take time off work and to resume work at the end of their leave.
Who is considered to be a parent for crime-related death or disappearance leave?
For this leave, a parent is defined as:
How do employees qualify for crime-related death or disappearance leave?
Employees must have worked with their employer for at least 3 months to qualify. An employee would not be entitled to the leave if the employee was charged with the crime.
How long is the leave?
Employees can take up to 52 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave if their child has disappeared and up to 104 consecutive weeks if their child has died.
If a missing child is found alive during the 52 week leave period, the employee can continue the leave for another 14 days. If a missing child is found dead, the disappearance leave ends immediately and the employee can start 104 weeks of leave related to the death of the child.
Where the death or disappearance no longer seems to be the result of a crime, the employee can continue the leave for another 14 days and the employee must give the employer written notice of their return to work as soon as possible.
Can employees break up the leave into two or more periods?
No, employees have to take the weeks consecutively and cannot break up the leave into more than one period.
What do employees have to do to take the leave?
Employees must let their employer know in writing as soon as possible of their intention to take the leave. If they have to start the leave before they can give written notice they must let their employer know as soon as possible that they have started the leave.
Employees must also give their employer a written plan outlining the period that they will take the leave. The plan can be changed with the employer’s agreement or by giving the employer 4 weeks’ written notice.
Can employers request documentation to support the leave request?
The employer can ask for reasonable evidence of the death or disappearance of the child and evidence showing it was likely due to a crime.
If employees have a benefits plan, such as a medical plan, can they keep their benefits plan during the leave?
During the leave, employers must let employees keep up at their own expense any benefits plan to which they belong. Employers must give 10 days’ written notice before the option to keep up the benefits plan is no longer in effect.
Can employees return to work earlier than planned?
Employees can end the leave early by giving the employer 14 days’ written notice.
What happens when employees return from the leave?
Employees must be accepted back to the same or a comparable position with no loss of seniority or benefits.
What if an employer refuses to bring an employee back to work?
Employees must be allowed to return to their previous job, or a comparable one, with no loss in seniority or benefits. Employees who believe they were demoted or terminated because they took or requested a leave can file a complaint with Labour Standards. Employers who do not allow an employee to return to work after a leave may be ordered to pay compensation and in some cases ordered to return the employee to their job.
What if an employee’s job is no longer available?
Employees must be given a comparable position with the same pay and benefits. There may be some circumstances where an employee’s job is eliminated and the employer does not have a comparable job to give the employee. In these situations, employers will need to show that the job is gone and that the leave had no impact on the decision to lay-off or terminate the employee’s employment. When employees are being let go because a job is being eliminated usually they must be given written notice that the job is ending or pay lieu of notice.
Is there any income support for employees who take the leave?
Employees who take a crime-related death or disappearance leave may qualify for 35 weeks of income support through a federal government grant. For more information on this grant please contact Service Canada.
Can employees who take crime-related death or disappearance leave also take other protected leaves under the Labour Standards Code?
Yes, employees can still qualify for other leaves under the Labour Standards Code.
Where can I get more information on crime-related death or disappearance leave?
Contact Labour Standards.