Effective December 1, 2022, employees in federally regulated private-sector workplaces will start to accrue up to 10 days of paid medical leave per year, subject to certain terms and conditions. This change is the result of amendments to the Canada Labour Code.
There is a 30-day qualifying period for an initial three days of paid medical leave. For current employees or any employee whose start date is before December 1, 2022, the initial 30-day qualifying period of continuous employment will automatically start on December 1, 2022, and will be complete on December 30, 2022. Therefore, employees will have earned three days of medical leave with pay on December 31, 2022. Employees will accrue one additional day of medical leave with pay at the beginning of each subsequent month, up to a maximum of 10 days per year.
If employees already have contractual entitlements to paid sick leave (for example under an employment agreement or collective bargaining agreement), taking a day of contractual paid sick leave will also count as paid medical leave under the Canada Labour Code (where the contractual entitlement meets certain requirements). Employees cannot "stack" existing contractual paid sick leave days together with the new medical leave days where the scope and purpose of each entitlement is the same.
- All employees, including part-time, casual and fixed-term employees are eligible for the paid medical leave.
- Employees may use the paid medical leave if the employee needs to take time off work due to the employee's own personal illness or injury, organ or tissue donation, medical appointment during working hours or quarantine.
- The paid medical leave days are not available for employees who need to take time off work to care for a family member or friend.
- Employers may only ask for a medical certificate if the employee is absent on a paid medical leave for five days or more in a row. Employers must make such a request in writing, no more than 15 days after the employee's return to work.
- Employees bank and carry-over any unused paid medical leave days to the next year. However, any paid medical leave days that are carried over count as days earned in that next year.
- If an employee carries over 10 days of paid medical leave, no further days will accrue all year, even if all banked days are used before year end. The employee will not start earning medical leave with pay again until the following year.
- Employees cannot have or earn more than 10 days of paid medical leave in any given year, whether banked, earned monthly, or a combination of both.
- When an employee takes a paid medical leave day, the employee should receive their regular rate of wages for normal hours worked.
- If an employee's hours differ from day to day, or where the employee is paid on a basis other than time, the employee should be paid the average of the employee's daily earnings, exclusive of overtime, for the 20 days the employee has worked immediately preceding the first day of the paid leave (or a method agreed to under a collective agreement, if applicable).
RECORD KEEPING REQUIREMENTS
Employers must keep the following records related to each period of medical leave with pay:
- the dates of commencement and termination of the leave;
- the year of employment in respect of which the leave was earned;
- the number of days of leave carried over from the previous year;
- a copy of any written request for a medical certificate made by an employer; and
- a copy of any medical certificate submitted by an employee.
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