Fact Sheet


Leave Related to Critical Illness


This leave is unpaid time off work to allow employees to provide care and support for a critically ill family member.  Legislation provides job protection during the leave.





Who can take a Leave Related to Critical Illness?

An employee who is a family member of a critically ill child under 18 years old who has worked for the same employer for at least 30 days is entitled to the leave.

An employee who is a family member of a critically ill adult who has worked for the same employer for at least 90 days is entitled to the leave.


How long is the Leave Related to Critical Illness?

Employees can take up to 37 weeks of leave within a 52 week period to provide care or support to a critically ill child under 18 years old.

Employees can take up to 17 weeks of leave within a 52 week period to provide care or support to a critically ill adult.

Employees can take the leave in one or more periods, however, each period must be at least one week long.


What is the definition of a critically ill adult?

A person 18 years old or more with a life-threatening illness or injury. This is the same definition used in the regulations under the federal government's Employment Insurance Act.


What is the definition of a critically ill child?

A child under 18 years old with a life−threatening illness or injury. This is the same as the definition used in the regulations under the federal government's Employment Insurance Act.


Do employees get paid when on leave?

No. Employers are not required to pay wages to employees while on leave. For all leaves, the legislation only requires employers to provide the time off and allow employees to return to their job when the leave has ended. Employers can, and often do, give greater benefits than those provided for in the legislation.

However, other federal programs may provide income replacement. Employees should contact the federal government to find out what types of leaves have income replacement.

The only exception under The Employment Standards Code where an employer is required to pay a portion of a leave is under the Domestic Violence Leave.


How do employees start the leave?

The need for this type of leave is unpredictable. When possible, employees must give at least one pay period of notice before the leave and provide their employer with a doctor's certificate as soon as possible.


Do employees need to provide a doctor's note?

Employees must provide their employer with a doctor's note indicating that the family member is critically ill and requires the care or support of the employee for a specified amount of time.


Are there programs to pay employees while on leave?

The federal government has income support programs to cover certain types of leave.  To learn more, call Service Canada toll-free at 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).


What if an employee cannot give notice?

Employees are still entitled to the leave even if they are unable to give notice.


Who decides what type of leave an employee is taking?

Employees tell their employers they are needing to take a leave. The employer will need enough detail to show the time off work meets the requirements of the leave.

When employees request time off, the employer should ask whether they are advising of a leave available under The Employment Standards Code or asking for approval for time off. Employers do not control when employees can take a leave provided by law, but they do control other types of time off work.


What if a family member is still critically ill after an employee takes the leave?

If a child or adult remains critically ill after the 52 week period that the leave was taken in, an employee can take the leave again. The eligibility requirements would remain the same.


What happens when the leave ends?

Employees must be returned to the position the employee occupied when the leave began or to a comparable position, with not less than the pay and benefits the employee earned immediately prior to the leave.


What if employees want to end Leave Related to Critical Illness?

Unless the employee and employer agree otherwise, an employee who wants to return to work earlier than the date the leave ends must give the employer written notice of at least one pay period. 


What if the employee's job is no longer available?

Generally, employees should be returned to the job they had before the leave. However, if the job is no longer available, they must be given a similar position with the same or greater benefits and pay.

There may be some situations where employers do not have a position available for reasons completely unrelated to the leave. For example, employees who are on unpaid leave would not necessarily be protected from losing their jobs if the employer shut down part of their operations and reduced their workforce based on a seniority system.

Employers must show the leave has no impact on the decision to lay−off or terminate the employment.


What if the employer refuses to bring the employee back to work?

Employees must be allowed to return to their job, or comparable job, with the same or greater pay and benefits when they return from leave. Employees who have been refused by their employer can file a complaint with Employment Standards within six months after the date the employee should have been reinstated.


Will the information about the leave be confidential?

Unless it is required by law or the employee has given consent, employers cannot disclose information related to a leave except to other persons in the workplace, who need to know in order to carry out their duties.


What is a period of employment?

The length of time from when an employee starts working for an employer until the day the employment ends.

The period of employment also includes periods of temporary interruption in employment (a layoff, an unpaid leave) seasonal employment, and when an employee returns to work for the same employer after a break of less than two months.  Employees who work in a seasonal industry and return to work with the same employer each season have continuous service. Each consecutive season they return adds one more year of service to their total period of employment.


For more information contact Employment Standards:

Phone:     204-945-3352 or toll free in Canada 1-800-821-4307

Fax:           204-948-3046

E-mail:     employmentstandards@gov.mb.ca

Website:  www.manitoba.ca/labour/standards

This is a general overview and the information used is subject to change. For detailed information, please refer to current legislation including The Employment Standards Code, The Construction Industry Wages Act , The Worker Recruitment and Protection Act, or contact Employment Standards.


Available in alternate formats
upon request.

 


Date Published: June 5, 2018