New leaves of absence to become effective on October 29


    On October 29, 2014, Bill 21, the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Leaves to Help Families), 2014 will come into force, according to Ontario Ministry of Labour.

    The bill amends the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) to create three new job-protected leaves. The bill also establishes a rule that affects how family medical leave is to be taken.

    Family medical leave is an existing unpaid, job-protected leave to provide care or support to certain individuals who have a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death occurring within a period of 26 weeks.

    An employee can take up to eight weeks of family medical leave in a 26-week period. Employees will not always need or want to take an entire week off to provide care or support to the individual.

    As of October 29, 2014, if an employee who takes family medical leave during a week stops providing care or support before the end of that week (i.e. before Saturday), the employee will be entitled to remain on leave until the end of the week, and, is allowed to return to work before the end of the week only if the employer agrees.


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