All federally regulated employees can take up to eight weeks of compassionate care leave to look after a family member who is gravely ill. See Pamphlet #5A – Compassionate Care Leave (Addendum) to find out who is considered a family member.
The Canada Labour Code guarantees your job security: your employer cannot dismiss, suspend, lay off, demote or discipline an employee who has taken or intends to take compassionate care leave, nor can the employer take this into account when deciding whether or not to train or promote you.
This leave of absence can be shared by two or more employees when looking after the same family member, but the total amount of leave taken by all cannot equal more than eight weeks within the 26-week period.
If your employer requests a medical certificate—in writing—within 15 days of your return to work, you must supply one stating that the family member had a serious medical condition and was at significant risk of dying within 26 weeks.
If your family member is still gravely ill at the end of 26 weeks, you are entitled to a further period of up to eight weeks compassionate care leave. You would require another medical certificate, stating again that your family member has a serious medical condition and is at significant risk of dying within 26 weeks.
Learn how your seniority and benefits are affected while you’re away.
You can also find out what happens on returning to work.
Pamphlet #5A – Compassionate Care Leave provides further information on this subject.