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Leave of Absence & Absenteeism - Lawwise Professional Corporation
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Leave of Absence & Absenteeism

A leave of absence allows employees to be able to take unpaid and, in some instances, paid, time off from work. An employee may be eligible for a leave of absence regardless if they are full-time, part-time, permanent, or term contract. The various laws in Canada protect employees from being discriminated against for taking a leave of absence and employers are required under the Employment Standards Act to accommodate.

Job Protected Leaves


In Ontario, certain types of leaves are not discretionary, and therefore employees have a legal right to take time off work. Under the Employment Standards Act, an individual may have the right to take time off in the following situations:



∎ Pregnancy
∎ Parental
∎ Personal emergency
∎ Family caregiver
∎ Family medical
∎ Critical illness
∎ Organ donor
∎ Reservist
∎ Child death or crime-related child disappearance leave


ESA prescribes some minimums regarding an employee’s entitlement to take a leave of absence. These minimums cannot be contracted out of. For each of these non-discretionary leaves of absence, their length and eligibility criteria might vary. For example, there may be specified criteria about how many days of the leave of absence would be required to be paid, and how many can be unpaid. An employer can pay more than the required amount of days. However, it is not mandatory. On the other hand, under the Employment Standards Act, an employee has the right to continue to participate in the employer’s group benefit plan, such as health insurance, dental plans, and accidental death.


Most importantly, once the non-discretionary leave has ended, employees are entitled to be reinstated to their employment. In the event that the employee’s position was eliminated, the employer will be required to reinstate the employee in a comparable position.



How Law Wise Can Help EMPLOYERS?


As an employer, it is important to ensure that all regulations relating to leaves of absence are properly abided by, such as when medical notes supporting a leave can and cannot be required. Leave of absences are a personal entitlement, and as such, more than one employee may be taking unpaid leave under the ESA at any given time. This places a burden on the employer, who may be required to incur the loss of experienced employees with temporary replacements. We understand the importance of developing and updating procedures, policies and strategies to manage leaves of absence while ensuring all statutory requirements are met.


We can provide information such as medical notes requirements, accommodation, the frustration of contracts, and discontinuance of benefits during certain long-term absences. We can also represent your company in the course of a lawsuit or any other legal process prior to the commencement of legal proceedings and throughout, if necessary.


Call us at +1 647 948 7819 today!



How Law Wise Can Help EMPLOYEES?


If you have questions or concerns regarding your legal entitlement to take a leave of absence, contact our employment lawyer today to discuss your options.


Call us at +1 647 948 7819 today!

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