Leaves of Absence in Canada
In Canada, employees may request work leaves - time away from thier jobs to take care of unusual circumstances and other life events. Typical reasons for leave requests include: pregnancy/maternity, parental responsibilities, family emergencies, illness, bereavement and voting. Less common leaves may be required for employees that are called to serve on a jury, or to report for military duties.
In general, a leave of absence is applicable when the employee’s required time off is not covered under their employer’s existing benefits. Depending on the type of leave, the employee may be granted the time off with or without pay. For example, leaves for maternity and caring for a sick family members are unpaid. Shorter leaves such as for bereavement or voting are considered paid leaves by most of the provinces (see the table below).
Certain leave policies are governed nationally, while the majority of leaves are set by provincial and territorial legislation. In both cases, the leave policy must comply with a set of minimum standards.
Use the table below to review the leave durations and standards for each of the thirteen Canadian provinces and territories. Select a province name to view more detailed information about the region.
|Type of Leave (Duration)|
|Province/Territory||Maternity (weeks)||Parental (weeks)||Adoption (weeks)||Compassionate Care (weeks)||Bereavement (days)||Sick (days)||Voting (hours)|
|Nova Scotia||17||52||52||8||3/1 3||3||3|
|Ontario||17||37||37||8||10 4||10 4||3|
|PEI||17||35||52||8||3 5||1 6||1|
* No provincial law or minimum standard applies.
1 1 day paid plus 2 days unpaid if employed more than 30 days.
2 3 days unpaid or 7 days if the funeral/memorial service takes place outside the employee's living area.
3 3 days if immediate family member, or 1 day if extended family member.
4 10 personal emergency days leave is available if employee works for a company with 50 or more staff.
5 1 days paid and 2 days unpaid if immediate family member, or up to 3 days unpaid if extended family member.
6 1 day paid after 5 continuous years of employment, or 3 days unpaid after 6 months of employment.
7 1 day paid if immediate family member, and up to 4 additional days unpaid.
8 1 day unpaid for each month of employment up to 12 days per year.
9 37 weeks for the father, 35 weeks for the mother (or 37 weeks if Pregnancy Leave is not taken)
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