Proposed amendments to Ontario's Employment Standards Act, 2000

December 13, 2011

On December 8, 2011, the McGuinty government introduced Bill 30, Family Caregiver Leave Act (Employment Standards Amendment), 2011.  Bill 30, if passed, will amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 to create an additional type of job-protected leave: Family Caregiver Leave.

The proposed Family Caregiver Leave will allow employees to take up to eight weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to attend to prescribed relatives who have fallen ill.  “Relatives” will include an employee’s spouse, parent, child, the spouse of his or her child, grandparent, sibling, or a relative who is dependent on the employee for care or assistance. 

An employee will become eligible for Family Caregiver Leave once a qualified health care practitioner has issued a certificate stating that the family member in question has a serious medical condition.  Employers will have the ability to request a copy of this certificate, and once requested it must be produced by the employee. 

If passed, Bill 30 will significantly expand an employee’s entitlements regarding caring for ill relatives, as the Act currently provides up to 10 days of Personal Emergency Leave and for Family Medical Leave, under which an employee can take up to eight weeks of leave to attend to certain prescribed relatives who are at risk of death within a 26-week period. 

We will provide further updates on Bill 30 as it progresses through the enactment process.

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