In a past Federal Employer Alert, we summarized the new paid Medical Leave (aka “sick pay”) under the Canada Labour Code (“CLC”), which replaces the existing unpaid/paid sick leave entitlement. Currently, federally regulated employees get 5 sick leave days under the CLC: 3 paid (after 3 months of employment), and 2 unpaid.
Under the amendments, federally regulated private sector employees will be entitled to up to 10 days of paid medical leave each year (but see deferred implementation for employers with less than 100 employees). The new entitlement is set to come into force on December 1, 2022.
The new Leave has undergone some changes since it was announced. We have summarized the rules governing the Leave below:
- After 30 days of continuous employment, an employee will earn 3 days of paid medical leave. Thereafter, the employee will accrue one day of paid medical leave at the beginning of each month, up to a maximum of 10 days per calendar year.
- For each day of medical leave, the employer must pay the employee their regular rate of wages for their normal hours of work. For employees with variable hours or pay, they must be paid the their average daily earnings, exclusive of overtime hours, for the 20 days the employee worked immediately preceding the first day of the period of paid leave
- Accrued and unused medical leave of absence will carry over to the following calendar year but the maximum number of available medical days at any time will remain 10.
- For now, the new paid medical leave entitlement applies only to employers who have 100 or more employees as of December 1, 2022 (i.e. the date that the new section the Code comes into force). If an employer’s workforce drops below 100 employees after the coming-into-force date, their employees will still be entitled to the 10 paid sick days.
- Note, the government intends to repeal this “100 employee” threshold in the future and the entitlement will apply broadly to all federally regulated private sector employers at that time. Until then, the current sick/personal leave entitlement will continue to apply to employers who do not meet the threshold for the new medical leave.
- An employer can request that a worker provide a certificate from a health care practitioner stating that the employer is incapable of working for the period of the medical paid medical leave. The request must be:
- in writing;
- made no later than 15 days after the employee’s return from leave; and
- directed only to an employee who has taken a medical leave of absence of at least five consecutive days.
Larger federal employees need to be planning to roll out updated sick leave policies for December 1, 2022 and training payroll, HR and managers on the new rules. Smaller employers can hold off but should be expecting they will be required to comply sometime in 2023.
If you want more information on this change, you can contact us at: