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Leave of Absence

A leave of absence essentially allows employees to be able to take unpaid and, in some instances, paid, time off from work. An employee may be eligible for a leave of absence regardless if they are full-time, part-time, permanent, or term contract. The various laws in Canada protect employees from being discriminated against for taking a leave of absence. 

Job-Protected Leaves

In Ontario, certain types of leaves are not discretionary, and therefore employees have a legal right to take time off work. Under the Employment Standards Act, an individual may have the right to take time off in the following situations:

  • Pregnancy

  • Parental

  • Personal emergency

  • Family caregiver

  • Family medical

  • Critical illness

  • Organ donor

  • Reservist

  • Child death or crime-related child disappearance leave.

What are my rights when taking a leave of absense?

Currently, some minimums are specified in legislation regarding an employee’s entitlement to take a leave of absence. These minimums cannot be contracted out of. For each of these non-discretionary leaves of absence, their length and eligibility criteria might vary. 

For example, there may be specified criteria about how many days of the leave of absence would be required to be paid, and how many can be unpaid. 

An employer can pay more than the required amount of days. However, it is not mandatory. On the other hand, under the Employment Standards Act, an employee has the right to continue to participate in  the employer’s group benefit plan, such as health insurance, dental plans, and accidental death.

Most importantly, once the non-discretionary leave has ended, employees are entitled to be reinstated to their employment. In the event that the employee’s position was eliminated, the employer will be required to reinstate the employee in a comparable position.

How can Zeilikman Law help?

If you have questions or concerns regarding your legal entitlement to take a leave of absence, contact one of the experienced lawyers today to discuss your options.

At Zeilikman Law, we approach these issues with logical and creative solutions. Our lawyers are, professional, friendly, and determined. We have the know-how to navigate through the psychology of any given dispute.  Request a consultation today!