First Session, 45th General Assembly
53 Elizabeth II, 2004
AN ACT TO AMEND THE LABOUR STANDARDS ACT
Received and Read the First Time
HONOURABLE JOAN BURKE
Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
Ordered to be printed by the Honourable House of Assembly
This Bill would amend the Labour Standards Act to incorporate a system of compassionate care leave for an employee to provide care or support to a family member who has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks.
The Bill would introduce the same employment protection for employees who avail of the compassionate care leave as exists for pregnancy, adoption and parental leave.
AN ACT TO AMEND
1. PART VII.3 Added
Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:
1. The Labour Standards Act is amended by adding immediately after section 43.12 the following:
43.13 In this section
(a) "cohabiting partner" means either of 2 persons who are cohabiting and have cohabited continuously in a conjugal relationship outside marriage for not less than one year;
(b) "family member", in relation to an employee, means
(i) a spouse or cohabiting partner of the employee,
(ii) a child of the employee or of the employee's spouse or cohabiting partner,
(iii) a parent of the employee or a spouse or common law partner of the parent, and
(iv) any other person who is a member of a class of persons prescribed for the purpose of this definition in the regulations; and
(c) "week" means the period between on Saturday and on the immediately following Saturday.
Entitlement to leave
43.14 (1) An employee who has been employed by the same employer for at least 30 days is entitled to a leave of absence without pay of up to 8 weeks to provide care or support to a family member of the employee where a legally qualified medical practitioner issues a certificate stating that the family member has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks from
(a) the day the certificate is issued, or
(b) the day the leave began, if leave began before the certificate was issued.
(2) The leave of absence under subsection (1) shall be taken during the period
(a) that starts with
(i) the first day of the week in which the certificate is issued, or
(ii) the first day of the week in which the employee was absent, if the leave began before the certificate was issued and the certificate was valid from any day in that week; and
(b) that ends with the last day of the week in which either of the following occurs:
(i) the family member dies, or
(ii) the expiration of 26 weeks following the first day of the week referred to in paragraph (a).
(3) Notwithstanding subparagraph (2)(b)(i), the director may decide that, in exceptional circumstances, an employee shall be provided with up to 3 additional days of unpaid leave immediately following the end of the week in which the death of the family member occurred, and an employer shall provide that leave.
(4) Where a shorter period than that referred to
in subsection (1) is prescribed for the purpose of subsection 23.1(5) of the Employment Insurance Act (
(a) the certificate referred to in subsection (1) has to state that the family member has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within that period; and
(b) that shorter period applies for the purpose of subsection 2(b)(ii).
(5) When the shorter period referred to in subsection (4) has expired in respect of a family member, no further leave may be taken under this Part in respect of that family member until the minimum number of weeks prescribed for the purpose of subsection 12(4.3) of the Employment Insurance Act (Canada) has elapsed.
(6) A leave of absence under this section shall be taken in periods of at least one week in duration.
(7) The aggregate amount of leave that may be taken by 2 or more employees under this section in respect of the care or support of the same family member shall not exceed eight weeks in the period referred to in subsection (2).
Notice to employer
43.15 (1) An employee who intends to take a leave of absence under this Part shall give written notice to his or her employer at least 2 weeks before the leave is to begin of that intention, unless there is a valid reason why that notice cannot be given.
(2) An employee who gives notice under subsection (1) shall include in that written notice to the employer the length of the leave that the employee intends to take.
(3) Every employee who is taking a leave of absence under this Part shall give at least 2 weeks written notice to the employer of any change in the length of leave intended to be taken, unless there is a valid reason why that notice cannot be given.
(4) Where the employer makes a written request, an employee shall provide his or her employer with a copy of the medical practitioner's certificate referred to in subsection 43.14(1).
(5) If an employer makes a request under subsection (4), that request shall be made within 15 days of the employee's return to work.
43.16 (1) An employer shall not dismiss an employee or give notice of dismissal to an employee because an employee intends to take, applies for or takes a leave of absence under this Part.
(2) Where an employee is dismissed by his or her employer contrary to subsection (1), the onus of proving that the reason for dismissal is unrelated to the compassionate care leave rests with the employer.
(3) An employer shall reinstate an employee at the end of his or her leave of absence under this Part on terms and conditions that are not less beneficial than those that subsisted before the leave began.
(4) Unless the employer and the employee otherwise agree, a period of leave under this Part does not count towards the application of the rights, benefits and privileges conferred by this Act upon an employee, but the period worked upon resumption of employment after leave shall be considered, for the purpose of this Act, to be continuous with the period worked before the leave.
©Earl G. Tucker, Queen's Printer