Proposed amendments to the Employment Standards Act will provide employees up to eight weeks of unpaid leave to provide care or support to an immediate family member who is terminally ill. The period of leave will be taken in one-week periods or more.
The proposed amendments mirror similar legislation for federally-regulated employees. In January 2004, the federal government amended the Canada Labour Codeto permit employees to take compassionate care leave.
Employees who take compassionate care leave, whether governed by federal or provincial legislation, are eligible for Employment Insurance benefits .
The provincial amendments have now passed first reading. Once they are enacted, all provinces other than Alberta and the Northwest Territories will provide for some form of compassionate care leave.