On December 8, 2011, Bill 30, the Ontario Family Caregiver
Leave Act (Employment Standards Amendment), 2011, received
If passed, Bill 30 will create a new leave providing Ontario
employees with up to 8 weeks unpaid leave, to provide care or
support to family members. Family members include the following
The employee's spouse.
The parent, step-parent or foster parent of the employee, or
the employee's spouse.
A child, step-child or foster child of the employee, or the
A grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild or step-grandchild
of the employee or the employee's spouse.
The spouse of the child of the employee.
The employee's brother or sister.
A relative of the employee who is dependent on the employee for
care or assistance.
Any individual prescribed as a family member.
The employee is eligible for 8 weeks of leave with respect to
each individual who requires care and may take Family Caregiver
Leave without fear of losing his or her job.
A doctor's note is required to qualify for Family Caregiver
Leave. The employer may require the employee to provide a copy of a
certificate issued by a medical practitioner stating the family
member has a serious medical condition.
The Family Caregiver Leave is in addition to existing leaves
provided by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 to aid
employees dealing with ill family members. Specifically, the Family
Caregiver Leave is in addition to both the Family Medical Leave,
which is available when a family member has a serious medical
condition with significant risk of death occurring within 26 weeks,
and the Personal Emergency Leave, which provides up to 10 unpaid
days, if the employer regularly employs 50 or more employees.
The proposed legislation is expected to receive second reading
at the end of February or early March, 2012. If Bill 30 is carried
at second reading and enacted at the third reading, the Family
Caregiver Leave will be law as of July 1, 2012.
The foregoing provides only an overview. Readers are
cautioned against making any decisions based on this material
alone. Rather, a qualified lawyer should be consulted.
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
A former teacher at Bodwell High School has learned a valuable lesson from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal— it is not discriminatory for an employer to offer child-related benefits to only employees with children.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
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