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Significant changes are coming to the employee paid sick leave regime under Part III of the Canada Labour Code (CLC) that will affect employers with one hundred or more employees in federally regulated industries such as banking, aviation, telecommunications, and inter-provincial transportation. Currently, these changes are set to become effective on December 1, 2022.

The major changes at a glance:

  • The CLC will now provide up to a maximum of ten days of paid sick leave each calendar year.
  • Thirty days after the changes become effective, employees will earn three days of paid sick leave.
  • New employees will earn three days of paid sick leave after completing thirty days of continuous employment with the employer.
  • Employees will earn one day of paid sick leave for every month of employment after completing one month of continuous employment with the employer.
  • Unused paid sick leave days carry over to the next calendar year and count toward that year’s maximum of ten days.
  • Employers may request a medical note for medical leaves of absence with pay that are five consecutive days or longer.

If employers provide superior sick leave benefits for employees, those benefits are not in addition to the potential ten days. The amendments remove “personal illness or injury” from the reasons that “personal leave” may be taken under the CLC. “Personal leave” currently provides up to five days of leave per year for various reasons, including family responsibilities, urgent matters concerning employees or their families, or employees attending their citizenship ceremonies. Three of the five “personal leave” days are paid if an employee has worked for an employer for three months or more.

Kathryn J. Bird is a partner in the Toronto office of Ogletree Deakins.

John T. Wilkinson is 2022 graduate of Queen’s University, Faculty of Law, and he is an articling student in the Toronto office of Ogletree Deakins.


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