COVID-19: What employers must know about employee leaves

Given the current state of Covid-19 and the rise of the “second wave”, the new normal continues to bring challenges, especially for employers.

Accommodation leaves under the Employment Standard’s Act (ESA) and the Canada Labour Code (CLC), may become more relevant than ever. Under the ESA employees are entitled to a Covid-19 related leave, which permits an employee to take an unpaid leave to care for themselves, or a qualifying dependent on account of Covid-19, are subject to quarantine or self-isolation, or are outside of the province and cannot return on account of travel restrictions. The ESA also provides for up to three days of unpaid sick leave to employees after 90 days of continuous employment with employer.

For Federally-regulated employees, such as employees of banks, airlines, telecommunications companies, the CLC, provides for up to a 16 week-leave in qualifying circumstances for employees required to care for themselves or a qualifying dependent on account of Covid-19. Currently, the CLC’s , Covid-19 related leave will ceased to be in force as of October 1, 2020.

Under both pieces of employment legislation there are job-protected leaves for employees who qualify, to care for themselves, and dependents or family members in various circumstances prescribed by the ESA or CLC. These circumstances and entitlements under the ESA and the CLC vary but cover circumstances such as critical illness leaves, family or personal leaves, compassionate care leaves and medical or illness leaves.

Having potential key employees out of the workforce may pose challenges to your workplace and we are here to guide you through those challenges. For advice on legislative leaves and managing your workplace please contact me directly

Kimberly Pavao , Partner
direct line: 250-565-8760

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