New Sick Leave Entitlements for Federally Regulated Employees

As of December 1, 2022, changes to the Canada Labour Code entitle federally regulated employees to a new statutory benefit of up to 10 days of paid medical leave annually.

The new entitlement provides paid leave to employees for any of the following medical reasons:

·    personal illness or injury of the employee;

·    organ or tissue donation from the employee;

·    medical appointments for the employee during working hours; and

·    employees requiring quarantine.

The entitlement is provided for full-time, part-time, casual, and fixed term contract employees, regardless of business size or number of employees employed.

The new entitlement provides employees 3 days of paid medical leave following an initial 30-day qualifying period of continuous employment. Employees are then entitled to an additional day of paid medical leave at the start of each subsequent month, up to a maximum of 10 days per year.

Unused medical leave days will carry over to the following year up to a maximum of 10 days for each employee; however, the carried over days will count toward the maximum of 10 days an employee can earn annually. Employers may require medical certificates from employees after an employee has used 5 or more days of medical leave with pay consecutively. Employers must make requests for a medical certificate to the employee in writing within 15 days of the employee’s return to work.

The statutory changes also address how employers must calculate medical leave pay when an employee works variable hours or is paid on a basis other than an hourly wage. 

In addition, the changes address how employers may apply the statutory medical leave entitlement when an employee is already entitled to paid sick leave (or an equivalent benefit) under a collective agreement or employment contract. 

Details about the new entitlement may be found in the Federal government’s interpretative guidelines atMedical leave with Pay - IPG - 118 and Stacking - Medical Leave with Pay – IPG – 199.

Disclaimer: This information is not provided as legal opinion or advice. For further information or assistance with applying or interpreting the new rules, please contact any of the lawyers at Neuman Thompson. 

The information in this update is intended as general information and should not be relied on as legal advice.