Compassionate Care Leave FAQ
Who can take compassionate care leave?
Any employee who has worked for a business for longer than 3 months and who needs to take care of a seriously ill family member who has a significant risk of dying within 26 weeks can take the leave.
Employees are entitled to take leave under the Code to care for the following family members:
- the employee’s spouse (including common-law partner)
- a parent, step-parent or foster parent of the employee or the employee’s spouse
- a child, step-child of the employee or the employee’s spouse
- a current or former foster child of the employee
- a brother, step-brother, sister, or step-sister of the employee
- a grandparent or step-grandparent of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
- a grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
- a brother-in-law, step-brother-in-law, sister-in-law or step-sister-in-law of the employee
- a son-in-law or daughter-in-law of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
- an uncle or aunt of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
- the nephew or niece of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
- the spouse of the employee’s current or former foster child, current or former guardian, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece
- the current or former guardian of the employee
- the current or former ward of the employee or the employee’s spouse
- Compassionate Care Leave may also be taken for a person who considers the employee to be like a family member or who is considered by the employee to be like a family member. Employees wishing to take a Leave for a person in this category must provide their employer, if requested, with a completed copy of the Compassionate Care Benefits Attestation form, available from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC), whether or not they are making an application for EI Compassionate Care Benefits.
How much compassionate care leave does an employee get?
Employees who qualify for the leave are entitled to 28 weeks of leave which can be broken up into separate blocks of time of no less than one week in duration each.
Is the employer required to pay the employee while he/she is on compassionate care leave?
Under the Code, compassionate care leave is unpaid leave. However, employees may qualify for a 26 week compassionate care leave employment insurance benefit under the federal government's Employment Insurance program (HRSDC).
Who decides whether a person is sick enough for their family member to take the leave?
It is up to a legally qualified medical practitioner to determine whether the family member has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of dying within 26 weeks. The employee may be required to provide a certificate from the medical practitioner.
How do employees apply for the leave?
Employees should give their employers as much notice as possible that they require the leave. The employer may require the employee to provide a medical certificate as noted above. Employees should contact HRSDC to determine if they qualify for Employment Insurance benefits.
If you have any questions, please contact Labour Standards.
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