Alberta's Employment Standards Code, has been
amended to provide new minimum standards to allow employees to take
compassionate care leave. On February 1, 2014, these amendments
will take effect.
Employees will be eligible to take up to 8 weeks of leave in
order to provide care or support to a seriously ill family member
if the employee is the primary caregiver. In order to qualify the
family member must be:
a spouse or common law partner of the employee,
a child of the employee or a child of the employee's spouse
or common law partner,
a parent of the employee or a spouse or common law partner of
the parent, and
any other person who is a member of a class of persons
designated in the regulations for the purpose of this
Currently there are no other persons designated in the
regulations for the purpose of the above definition.
The employee's employment is protected during this leave and
no employer may terminate the employment of, or lay off, an
employee who has started compassionate care leave.
In order for employees to take compassionate care leave they
must meet the following requirements:
The employee must be employed for at least 52 consecutive weeks
with the employer;
The employee must produce a physician's certificate stating
that the family member has a serious medical condition with a
significant risk of death within 26 weeks and they require the care
or support of one or more family members; and
The employee must be the "primary caregiver", meaning
that the employee has the primary responsibility for providing care
or support to a seriously ill family member for that family.
Given these new requirements for compassionate care leave, we
recommend that employers review their workplace policies to ensure
compliance with the Employment Standards Code.
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