Carolyn Johnston discusses new job protected leaves including family caregiver leave, critically ill child care leave and crime-related child death or disappearance leave as part of the Torkin Manes LegalPoint Video Series.

Click here to view video.

In October, 2014, the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Leaves to Help Families), 2014 came into force. This amended the Ontario Employment Standards Act to ADD three new job-protected leaves.

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

the Employment Standards 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 are these different types of 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 whose child is missing or has died as a result of a crime.

In conjunction with these 2 new leaves under the Employment Standards Act, 2000, employers should be mindful of their obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Codewith respect to accommodating family status needs.

Employers must accommodate a employee’s family status related needs up to the point of undue hardship with respect to caring for a child or parent.

So, this really means that you really need to seek legal advice if any kind of termination is being considered in these contexts

The ministry has also developed a medical certificate document that can be used for family caregiver leave, critically ill child care leave and/or family medical leave.

Q. What are the consequences?

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