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Q

How does sick leave provision work?

A

Sick leave is legislated in employment standards legislation in the following provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec. In provinces such as British Columbia, Ontario, Yukon, and federally regulated employers, sickness, illness and injury leaves are allowed under Family Responsibility Leave, Emergency Leave, or Illness and Injury Leave.

Alberta, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Saskatchewan do not have provisions for sickness, illness or injury. The government leaves them at the employer's discretion. However, in Newfoundland and Labrador, sick leave entitlements are shared with family responsibility leave.

  • New Brunswick provides employees who have been employed more than 90 days to five unpaid days in a year. The employer cannot require the employee to provide for a medical certificate certifying that he or she is unable to work due to illness or injury, unless the employee is absent for four or more consecutive days. The employee must specify how long the leave will be before the leave commences. An employer shall not dismiss an employee or give a notice of dismissal to an employee because they are off on sick leave.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador allows employees who have been employed for a continuous period of 30 days with seven unpaid days in a year supported by medical certificate from a doctor, if on sick leave for three consecutive days or more. An employer shall not dismiss an employee or give a notice of dismissal to an employee because they are off on sick leave.
  • Prince Edward Island states that after six months continuous service with an employer, an employee is entitled to unpaid leaves of absence of up to three days for sick leave during a twelve-month period. If the employee takes three consecutive days, the employer may ask for a medical certificate.
  • Nova Scotia allows employees who three unpaid sick days off per year to attend to a sick family member or medical appointments. This leave can be used for medical, dental and other appointments during working hours. It can also be used if an employee's child, parent, or family member is ill. Employees may have to provide a medical certificate from a medical professional if the employer makes a request.
  • Quebec provides employees who have been employed more than 90 days to be absent for work without pay for a period of not more than 26 weeks each year. At the end of an absence owing to sickness or accident, the employee must be reinstated in his or her usual position, with the same benefits, including the wage to which he/she would have been entitled had he/she remained at work. If his/her usual position no longer exists when he/she returns, the employer must grant him/her all of the rights and privileges that he/she would have enjoyed at the time his/her position disappeared.
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Please Note: Any information provided in response to an HR or payroll question is not legal advice or a legal opinion. To obtain legal advice or a legal opinion, consult a lawyer.

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