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In October 2014, Ontario introduced legislation amending the Employment Standards Actto add three new job protected leaves.

In addition to the leaves already protected under the Act, including Personal Emergency, Pregnancy, Parental, Family Medical Leave, Organ Donor Leave and others,

the Act now includes:

  1. Family Caregiver Leave
  2. Critically Ill Child Care Leave and
  3. the Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance Leave

Q. What is the purpose of these New Leaves?

Family Caregiver Leave provides an employee up to eight weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to provide care or support to a family member with a serious medical condition.

Critically Ill Child Care Leave provides an employee who is a parent up to 37 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to provide care to a critically ill child.

Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance Leave provides an employee who is a parent with unpaid, job-protected leave where their child is missing or has died as a result of a crime.

In conjunction with these new leaves under the Act, employers should be always be mindful of their obligations under human rights legislation to accommodate family status.

Employers must accommodate an employee’s "family status" related needs up to the point of undue hardship.

If you would like to learn more about accommodation under the Human Rights Code, please see our related video on that topic

Q. What are the consequences of non-Compliance?

Failing to provide an employee with a statutory protected leave will result in a breach of theEmployment Standards Act. This could result in costly legal proceedings and potentially damages awarded against your business.