Leaves of Absence, Bereavement and Jury Duty

Policy

Category: Human Resources
Subject: Leaves of Absence, Bereavement and Jury Duty
Division: Administrative Services
Policy Number: CA.52.01.104
Effective Date: January 19, 2018

Policy Statement

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) will provide job protected leaves of absence as defined by the Employment Standards Act (ESA) of Ontario.

In addition to job protected leave, employees may be eligible to take non-job protected leave. 

WDGPH will provide time off for a death of a member of an employee’s family. WDGPH also provides time off to serve on a jury or perform witness duty when required.  

Scope

This policy applies to all employees actively employed with WDGPH. ONA nurses should also refer to the Collective Agreement for additional leaves, details and/or requirements not encompassed by this document.  

TYPES OF LEAVES OF ABSENCE

Job protected unpaid leaves of absence as defined by the Employment Standards Act of Ontario include:

  • Pregnancy Leave
  • Parental Leave
  • Personal Emergency Leave
  • Family Caregiver Leave
  • Family Medical Leave
  • Critical Illness Leave
  • Organ Donor Leave
  • Child Death Leave
  • Crime-Related Child Disappearance Leave
  • Reservist leave
  • Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave

Non-Job Protected Leaves of Absence include

  • Unpaid Leave of Absence
  • Professional Leave
  • Pre-paid Leave

Other Types of Leaves

  • Bereavement
  • Jury/Witness Duty

JOB PROTECTED LEAVES OF ABSENCE DETAILS

Pregnancy Leave

Pregnancy leave consists of up to 17 weeks of job-protected, unpaid time off work. To be eligible, a baby’s expected birth date (due date) must be at least 13 weeks after your start date with the Agency.

An employee on a pregnancy leave and in receipt of Employment Insurance benefits pursuant to Section 18 of the Employment Insurance Act shall be paid a supplemental employment benefit for a maximum period of 15 weeks.  The benefit will be equivalent to the difference between 70 percent of her regular weekly earnings, and the sum of her employment insurance benefits and any other earnings. 

Please note: If a leave in excess of 12 months is taken, the total amount of supplemental employment benefit (top-up payment) will not exceed the amount provided during a 12-month leave.

For additional details and the requirements for this job-protected leave refer to the ESA website:

http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/guide/pregnancy.php

Note:  ONA employees should refer to their Collective Agreement. 

Parental Leave

As a new parent (e.g., birth parent, adopting parent, person in a relationship with a parent of a child with plans to treat the child as their own) employees have the right to take job-protected, unpaid time off work once a child is born or first comes into their care.

To qualify, an employee must have been employed by the Agency for at least 13 weeks before the start of the leave.

Employees who take parental leave are entitled to take up to 61 weeks of parental leave. Birth mothers who do not take pregnancy leave and all other new parents can take up to 63 weeks of parental leave, beginning no later than 78 weeks after the date the child was born or first came into their care. Parents can, but do not have to, take their leave at the same time as the other parent.

An employee on a parental leave and in receipt of Employment Insurance benefits pursuant to Section 20 of the Employment Insurance Act shall be paid a supplemental employment benefit for a maximum period of 10 weeks. The benefit will be equivalent to the difference between 70 percent of their regular weekly earnings, and the sum of their employment insurance benefits and any other earnings. 

Note:  If a leave in excess of 12 months is taken, the total supplemental employment benefit (top-up payment) will not exceed the amount provided during a 12-month leave.

For additional details and the requirements for you to take this job-protected leave please refer to the ESA website:  http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/guide/pregnancy.php

Note:  ONA employees should refer to their Collective Agreement. 

Personal Emergency Leave

Personal emergency leave is job-protected time off work for up to 10 days per calendar year. This leave may be taken for personal illness, injury or medical emergency. It can also be taken for the death, illness, injury, or medical emergency of, or urgent matter relating to, the following family members:

  • Employee’s spouse
  • Parent, step-parent, foster parent, child, step-child, foster child, grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild or step-grandchild of employee or employee’s spouse
  • The spouse of employee’s child
  • Employee’s brother or sister
  • A relative who is dependent on employee for care or assistance

The 10 days of personal emergency leave do not have to be taken consecutively or in entire days. However, any part of a day of emergency leave will be viewed as a full day by the Agency.

Employees are eligible to take their first two days of Personal Emergency Leave as paid as outlined in the Employment Standards Act, 2000 which is subject to the following conditions:

  • Personal Emergency Leave paid for the day is deemed to be the wages the employee would have earned had they not taken the leave.  In other words, an employee would not receive more emergency leave pay than if they had attended work.

For additional details and the requirements to take this job-protected leave refer to the ESA website:  http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/guide/emergency.php  

Family Caregiver Leave

Family caregiver leave is unpaid, job-protected time off work to provide care or support to specified family members who have a serious medical condition of up to eight weeks per calendar year.

Family caregiver leave may be taken for any of the following family members:

  • Employee’s spouse
  • A parent, step-parent, foster parent, child, step-child, foster child, grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild or step-grandchild of employee or employee’s spouse
  • The spouse of employee’s child
  • Employee’s brother or sister
  • A relative who is dependent on employee for care or assistance

Family caregiver leave can be taken up to eight weeks per calendar year with respect to each specified family member. The eight weeks do not have to be taken consecutively.

Time can be taken  in periods of less than a full week (for example, just one day or a couple of days in a week), but if an employee takes any time off for family caregiver leave in a week (which runs from Sunday to Saturday), one week of the eight-week entitlement is considered to be taken.  This leave requires medical certification.  A link to this document is provided below:

http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pdf/medcert.pdf

For additional details and the requirements to take this job-protected leave refer to the ESA website below:

http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/guide/caregiver.php

Family Medical Leave

Family medical leave is unpaid, job-protected time off work to provide care or support to certain specified individuals who have a serious medical condition with a significant risk of dying within 26 weeks.

Family medical leave may be taken for any of the following individuals:

  • The employee’s spouse
  • A parent, step-parent or foster parent of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • A child, step-child or foster child of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • A child who is under legal guardianship of the employee or the employee’s spouse 
  • A brother, step-brother, sister or step-sister of the employee
  • A grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee or the employee’s spouse 
  • A brother-in-law, step-brother-in-law, sister-in-law or step-sister-in-law of the employee
  • A son-in-law or daughter-in-law of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • An uncle or aunt of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • A nephew or niece of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • The spouse of the employee’s grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece
  • A person who considers the employee to be like a family member, provided the prescribed conditions as outlined by the Employment Standards Act 2000, if any, are met.

Family Medical Leave Duration

Family medical leave may be taken for up to 28 weeks with respect to each specified individual.  Note that said leave may only be taken in periods of entire weeks. The 28 weeks of family medical leave do not have to be taken consecutively.

A “week” is defined as running from Sunday to Saturday. An employee on a family medical leave who stops providing care or support before the end of the week, is entitled to stay on leave for the remainder of that week. The employee may return to work before the end of the week only if the employer agrees to an early return.

Additional Family Medical Leave in a 52-week Period

Employees may be eligible for additional Family Medical Leave as outlined in the Employment Standards Act, 2000. 

Note that this leave requires medical certification.  A link to this document is provided below:

http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pdf/medcert.pdf

For additional details and the requirements for you to take this job-protected leave refer to the ESA website:

http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/guide/family.php

Critical Illness Leave

Leave for Critically Ill Minor Child

An employee who has been employed by WDGPH for at least six consecutive months is entitled to a leave of absence without pay to provide care or support to a critically ill minor child of up to 37 weeks of leave.

Leave for Critically Ill Adult

An employee who has been employed by WDGPH for at least six consecutive months is entitled to a leave of absence without pay to provide care or support to a critically ill family member of up to 17 weeks of leave. 

A family member refers to:

  • The employee’s spouse
  • A parent, step-parent or foster parent of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • A child, step-child or foster child of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • A child who is under legal guardianship of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • A brother, step-brother, sister or step-sister of the employee
  • A grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • A brother-in-law, step-brother-in-law, sister-in-law or step-sister-in-law of the employee
  • A son-in-law or daughter-in-law of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • An uncle or aunt of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • A nephew or niece of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • The spouse of the employee’s grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece
  • A person who considers the employee to be like a family member, provided the prescribed conditions, if any, are met.

Additional Critical Illness Leave

Employees may be eligible for additional Critical Illness Leave as outlined in the Employment Standards Act, 2000. 

Note that this leave requires medical certification.  A link to this document is provided below:

http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pdf/medcert.pdf

For additional details and the requirements for you to take this job-protected leave please refer to the ESA website:  https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/brochures/br_leaves.php

Organ Donor Leave

Organ donor leave is unpaid, job-protected leave for the purpose of undergoing surgery to donate an organ to a person.

Organ donor leave can be taken to undergo surgery to donate all or part of one of the following organs to a person: kidney, liver, lung, pancreas, small bowel.

Generally, organ donor leave begins on the date of the surgery. It may begin on an earlier date, as specified in a certificate issued by a legally qualified medical practitioner.

Generally speaking, employees may take leave for up to 13 weeks. However, this time may be extended for up to an additional 13 weeks, if the employee is not yet able to perform the duties of his/her job because of the organ donation. To extend the leave, employees must get a certificate from a legally qualified medical practitioner stating that he/she is not yet able to perform the duties of their job because of the organ donation, and will be unable to do so for a specified period of time. The leave may be extended more than once, but the total period of extension cannot be more than 13 weeks. Therefore, the maximum leave period is 26 weeks.

For additional details and the requirements for you to take this job-protected leave please refer to the ESA website:  http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/guide/organdonor.php

Child Death Leave

An employee who has been employed by an employer for at least six consecutive months is entitled to a leave of absence without pay of up to 104 weeks if a child of the employee dies.

For additional details and the requirements for you to take this job-protected leave please refer to the ESA website:  http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/guide/disappear.php

Crime-Related Child Disappearance Leave

An employee who has been employed by the Agency for at least six consecutive months is entitled to a leave of absence without pay of up to 104 weeks if a child of the employee disappears and it is probable, considering the circumstances that the child disappeared as a result of a crime.

For additional details and the requirements for you to take this job-protected leave please refer to the ESA website:  http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/guide/disappear.php

Reservist Leave

Employees who are military reservists and who are deployed to an international operation or to an operation within Canada that is or will be providing assistance in dealing with an emergency or its aftermath (including search and rescue operations) are entitled under the ESA to unpaid leave for the time necessary to engage in that operation. In the case of an operation outside Canada, the leave would include pre and post-deployment activities (even if those activities take place within Canada) that are required by the Canadian Forces in connection with that operation.

To be eligible for reservist leave, an employee must have worked for the Agency for at least six consecutive months.  For additional details and the requirements for you to take this job-protected leave please refer to the ESA website:  http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/pubs/guide/reservist.php

Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave

An employee who has been employed the Agency for at least 13 consecutive weeks is entitled to a leave of absence without pay if the employee or a child of the employee experiences domestic or sexual violence, or the threat of domestic or sexual violence, and the leave of absence is taken for any of the following purposes:

  • To seek medical attention for the employee or the child of the employee in respect of a physical or psychological injury or disability caused by the domestic or sexual violence.
  • To obtain services from a victim services organization for the employee or the child of the employee.
  • To obtain psychological or other professional counselling for the employee or the child of the employee.
  • To relocate temporarily or permanently.
  • To seek legal or law enforcement assistance, including preparing for or participating in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to or resulting from the domestic or sexual violence

Length of Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave and Eligibility for Five Paid Days of Leave:

An employee is entitled to take up to 15 weeks of leave. An employee is entitled to take the first five such days as paid days of leave in each calendar year and the balance of his or her entitlement under this section as unpaid leave.  For additional information, refer to the Employment Standards Act, 2000.

Job-Protected ESA Leaves of Absence and Agency Provided Benefit Plans

While on any leave other than reservist, the Agency is required to continue to pay employer contributions into certain benefit plans (pension, life and extended health insurance, accidental death and dental plans), unless the plan requires both employer and employee contributions and the employee advises the employer in writing that he/she will not be paying their contributions. Employees who are on reservist leave have this right only if the employer postpones the employee’s return to work.

Job-Protected ESA Leaves of Absence and Employment Insurance and Other Federal Benefits

The federal government provides maternity, parental and compassionate care benefits; benefits for parents of critically ill children; and grants for parents of murdered and missing children. For more information, call:

1-800-622-6232 (TTY: 1-800-926-9105).

AGENCY-PROVIDED NON-JOB PROTECTED UNPAID LEAVES OF ABSENCE

Unpaid Leave of Absence

WDGPH will grant an unpaid leave of absence to employees whose written request is approved by their immediate supervisor/manager and the division director. An employee is required to use any flex time earned, compensating time, and accrued vacation before being eligible for an unpaid leave of absence.

The Agency will consider the following criteria in approving non-job protected unpaid leaves of absence:

  • The purpose of the LOA
  • The level of disruption to the program/division/Agency (i.e. only person who can perform task, etc.)
  • The duration and timing of the leave (i.e. request during summer holidays)
  • The ability for the Agency to backfill/reallocate work to ensure service delivery for clients and meet regulatory requirements
  • The potential benefit to the Agency (i.e. LOA for education to become a metallurgical engineer)
  • The length of service of the employee (i.e. < 2 years of service, 10+ years of service, etc.)
  • The work record of the employee. (i.e. on probation, etc.)
  • The number of other employees in the program/division on a LOA

Employee benefits for an unpaid leave of absence will be maintained for a maximum of 30 days.

Professional Leave

WDGPH recognizes the value of the ongoing professional development.  Employees will be granted leave at the discretion of WDGPH and as outlined in the policy CA.52.01.102 and procedure CA.52.02.102 Professional Development-Conferences, Seminars and Workshops.

Professional leaves may be granted with pay or without pay depending on the request, which can be directed by the immediate supervisor, or initiated by the employee. The professional development opportunity must be directly related to the employee’s current position and of benefit to WDGPH.

When an employee requests a leave to attend a course, seminar, workshop or conference not related to the employee’s current position, the employee may request use of vacation time, compensating time, flex time or an unpaid leave.

Prepaid leave

This plan is funded solely by the employee. The plan is available to all full-time employees wishing to spread (defer) their salary over a four-year period. In accordance with Part LXVIII of the Income Tax Regulations, Section 6801, employees can take a one-year leave of absence with pay following three or four years of salary deferral. This plan is not to provide benefits to employees on or after resignations. Approval of prepaid leaves is at the sole discretion of WDGPH.

During the years of the salary deferral, 20 percent or 25 percent as applicable of the employee’s gross annual earnings will be deducted and held for the employee. Deferred earnings are held at the discretion of WDGPH and will not be accessible to the employee until the year of leave, or upon withdrawal of the plan.

If WDGPH is unable to find a suitable replacement for the position, the leave will be postponed. WDGPH will provide the employee with as much notice as reasonably possible. The employee will have the option of remaining in the prepaid leave plan, and rescheduling the leave at a mutually agreeable time, or withdrawing from the plan. If the employee withdraws from the plan, the deferred salary plus accrued interest, if any, will be paid out to the employee within a reasonable time period.

Final approval for entry into the prepaid leave plan will be subject to the employee entering into a formal agreement with WDGPH in order to authorize WDGPH to make the appropriate deductions from the employee’s pay.

All deferred salaries shall be paid to the employee at the commencement of leave or in accordance with such other payment schedule as may be agreed upon between WDGPH and the employee.

Subject to benefit coverage being accepted by the Insurance Company, as per the plan, all benefits shall be kept whole during the years of salary deferral. Service for the purpose of vacation and salary progression and other benefits will be retained, but will not accumulate during the period of leave. Employees will be responsible for full payment of premiums for any health and welfare benefits in which they are participating. Contributions to the pension plan shall be in accordance with the plan. Employees will not be able to participate in the disability income plans during the year they are on leave.

An employee may withdraw from the plan only as a result of financial hardship, provided WDGPH receives written notice one month in advance of withdrawal. Deferred salary, plus accrued interest if any will be returned to the employee within a reasonable period of time.

In the case of an employee terminating their employment, the deferred salary held by WDGPH will be returned to the employee, within a reasonable period of time. In the case of the death of the employee the funds will be paid to the employee’s estate.

Absence Reporting and Notification

Employees who take an unscheduled leave of absence must notify their immediate supervisor as soon as they are aware that they are unable to attend their scheduled shift.

Employees eligible to use WDGPH’s Employee Self-Serve (ESS) system must submit all scheduled absences to their immediate supervisor for approval via the ESS system. Employees not using ESS must obtain prior written approval for scheduled absences.

Generally voicemails and out-of-office assistant (email) should be established for leaves when it makes sense to do so.  The notices should reflect the period absent, return date and contact person if an urgent matter.

OTHER LEAVES OF ABSENCE

Bereavement Leave

The purpose of bereavement leave is to prevent a loss of pay for an employee in the event a death of a member of an employee’s family. An employee is entitled to a bereavement leave without loss of pay for the purpose of arranging or attending the funeral.

Employees are entitled to bereavement leave as outlined below:

  • In the event of the death of a spouse or child up to a maximum of 35 hours with pay from the date of death, and in conjunction with the death.
  • In the event of the death of a parent, sister, brother, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparent or grandchild, up to a maximum of 21 hours with pay.  Note that grandparents of spouses do not qualify. 
  • In the event of the death of a brother-in-law or sister-in-law of an employee, a maximum of seven hours with pay. 

Full-time employees are entitled to bereavement leave as outlined above. 

Part-time employees are entitled to bereavement leave on a pro-rated basis with pay depending upon their FTE as outlined above.

Temporary employees are entitled to bereavement leave on a pro-rated basis with pay depending upon their FTE as outlined above.

Casual (as needed) employees are eligible for bereavement leave if they are scheduled for work and it results in a loss of pay in accordance with the above. E.g. scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday, and eligible for a maximum of 35 hours with pay, receives bereavement for scheduled days on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

When a death occurs in an employee’s family, funeral details will be communicated to colleagues, if so desired by the employee. The employee will be asked which charity they would like WDGPH to make a donation.

WDGPH will honor the passing of a family member by offering a donation to a charity of the employee’s choice. A donation of $50.00 will be made in the case of the death of a spouse or in the death of a child of the employee, or a child of the employee’s spouse. In case of the death of a parent, sister, brother, mother/father-in-law, grandparent, grandchild a donation of $30.00 will be contributed.

Jury/Witness Duty

The purpose of this leave is to prevent a loss of pay for an employee required for jury duty. If an employee is required to attend as a subpoenaed witness in a proceeding in connection with a case arising from the employee’s duty, representing WDGPH, the employee shall be paid to attend at regular straight time.

Employees who are required to attend for jury duty unrelated to WDGPH business will be paid for the time they must attend for jury selection and duty for their missed scheduled hours of work. Employees required to serve as a witness for unrelated WDGPH business will not be paid for the time to attend.

The employee needs to notify their immediate supervisor immediately upon receiving notification of the order to attend jury or witness duty. Employees must attend work on the day they are not scheduled to attend court for jury or witness duty.

Definitions

ESAEmployment Standards Act of Ontario

Job Protected Leaves of Absence – Leaves of absence that are defined by the ESA.  These leaves are job protected, meaning that employees are entitled to be reinstated to the same position held before their leave if it still exists, or to a comparable position if it does not.

Non-Job Protected Leaves of Absence – Leaves of absence that is established by the Agency.  These leaves are not job protected, meaning that employees taking said leaves are not entitled to be reinstated to the same position or to a comparable position. 

Work day – a day on which the employee is regularly scheduled to work.

Medical Certificate – a certificate signed by a qualified medical practitioner stating the reason for the illness. This is required by the employee for personal illness or family medical leaves.

Employment Insurance Act – provides guidelines regarding employment insurance while on pregnancy and/or parental leaves.

Income Tax Regulation – tax regulation applied to prepaid leaves.

BEREAVEMENT LEAVE DEFINITIONS:

Spouse – Includes common-law spouse or same-sex partner of the employee.

Family Member – Includes a family member of a common-law spouse, or same sex partner.

Child – Means a child of the employee or spouse.

References and Related Forms, Policies and Procedures

Corresponding Procedure:  CA.52.02.104  Leaves of Absence, Bereavement and Jury Duty
CA.52.01.102  Professional Development
Employment Standard Act, 2000
Employment Insurance Act
Income Tax Regulation(s) 6801

CONTACT FOR INQUIRIES

Manager, Human Resources

APPROVED BY

Director, Administrative Services 


Procedure

Category: Human Resources
Subject: Leaves of Absence, Bereavement and Jury Duty
Division: Administrative Services
Procedure Number: CA.52.02.104
Effective Date: January 19, 2018

PROCEDURE

The following procedure outlines the steps to be taken to submit a request for a leave. ONA nurses should also refer to the Collective Agreement for additional details/requirements.   

The eligible leaves are outlined in policy CA.52.01.104 Leaves of Absence, Bereavement and Jury Duty

General non-job protected leave of absence (LOA); and job protected Employment Standards Act (ESA) LOA steps:

Employees should determine which ESA job protected unpaid LOA they wish to take to determine the notification and documentation requirements.  General guidelines are provided in the policy CA.52.01.104 Leaves of Absence, Bereavement and Jury Duty.

  1. The written request must indicate the type of leave being requested, the date(s) of the leave (start and end) and the reason for the request (where relevant), and any supporting documentation and/or medical certification required for the request.

  1. The employee should then submit the request (in writing where necessary) to their immediate supervisor as required by the type of leave being requested.

  1. The immediate supervisor will review and approve/decline the request in consultation with the program director through an Employee Change Request (ECR).

  1. The immediate supervisor will arrange for the return of Agency equipment for internal reassignment when it makes sense to do so. Examples of this may be when an employee’s position is temporarily backfilled, applies for long-term disability, or is approved for an extended LOA.

  1. For extended leaves or when required, the immediate supervisor will determine what system access the employee has (i.e. Excelicare, Panorama, etc.) and determine what system access (if any) should be suspended during the leave. Should system access be suspended, the immediate supervisor is required to document what access is being suspended and submit an IT helpdesk request to suspend the access. 

  1. The immediate supervisor will also initiate the paperwork for the temporary replacement of the position (where appropriate) in the applicant tracking system (ATS).

  1. Human Resources will enter information into infoHR/Employee Self-Serve (ESS) and issue a Record of Employment (where required).

  1. Generally, employees are required to activate the absence notification on their voicemail and email for extended LOA.  Where this is not possible, the immediate supervisor is required to activate the absence notification on their voicemail and email where applicable.

  1. An employee who returns to work shall be reinstated in the position occupied by the employee at the commencement of the leave, or if that position is not available, in a comparable position.

  1. The immediate supervisor will inform Human Resources and other departments of the employee’s return to work date in order to complete the necessary arrangements. This will vary depending upon the type of LOA taken, the need of the employee and the needs of the Agency. 

    • If system access for the employee was suspended (i.e. Excelicare, Panorama, etc.), the immediate supervisor will need to complete an IT helpdesk request listing what access is to be resumed with as much advance notice as possible. 

Personal Emergency Leave

  1. Personal emergency leave does not require management approval, however, an employee is required to declare they are taking said leave and the generalized reason they are taking the leave (i.e. death, illness, injury, or medical emergency of, or urgent matter relating to an eligible family members). 
  1. Employees are not required to disclose specific confidential information when taking personal emergency leave.
  1. Normally an ECR is not required for an employee taking emergency leave given that such leaves are generally taken intermittently.
  1. Any unpaid emergency leave requests require an ECR for proper payroll processing. Copies of all documentation must be forwarded to Human Resources for payroll adjustment and OMERS administration purposes (as appropriate).

Pregnancy Leave and Parental Leave Supplemental Employment Benefit

  1. The employee will forward to payroll a copy of the first pay stub from Employment Insurance to process top-up payments.
  1. The employee will be paid the difference between 70 percent of gross wages on a biweekly basis, minus the Employment Insurance payments for a maximum of 15 weeks for pregnancy leave and a maximum period of 10 weeks for parental leave. 

Note: If a leave in excess of 12 months is taken, the total supplemental employment benefit (top-up payment) will not exceed a 12-month leave.

ONA represented nurses should refer to their Collective Agreement. N

Non-Job Protected Leaves Of Absence

Professional Leave

  1. Follow policy CA.52.01.102 and procedure CA.52.02.102 Professional Development and Education Assistance Program. All leaves for professional development, once approved, must be entered as a request through the infoHR/ESS system by employees who use the system. 
  1. Generally, employees are required to activate the absence notification on their voicemail and email for extended LOA.  Where this is not possible, the immediate supervisor is required to activate the absence notification on their voicemail and email where applicable.

Prepaid Leave

  1. Employees must submit a written request at least three months prior to the intended commencement date, (i.e. the salary deferral portion).
  1. Their immediate supervisor will review and provide recommendations to the director or designate, for final review and approval. This will be documented through an ECR if approved. 
  1. Their immediate supervisor will notify the employee if the request has been approved or denied. If denied, a written response will be provided to the employee from the director with supporting information for the decision.
  1. Once approved, Human Resources will provide confirmation by email to the employee of the effective date of deductions as per the written request.
  1. Human Resources will set up payroll deductions as per the agreement and the original will be filed in the employee’s personnel file.
  1. The employee will continue working their regular schedule until the commencement of the prepaid leave.
  1. Human Resources will key the leave information in infoHR as required.
  1. Employees are required to activate the absence notification on their voicemail and email.

Unpaid Leave of Absence

  1. An employee is required to use any flex time earned, compensating time, and accrued vacation before being eligible for an unpaid leave of absence.
  1. Requests for unpaid leaves of absence up to 10 days must be submitted to their immediate supervisor for review and recommendation, taking into consideration the reason for the request, supporting documentation and the impact on program service delivery.
  1. The immediate supervisor forwards the recommendation to the division director where applicable for final approval which will be documented through an ECR if approved. 
  1. The director reviews and makes a decision taking into consideration the reason for the request, any supporting documentation, and the impact on delivery of service in the program.
  1. Employee benefits for an unpaid leave of absence will be maintained for a maximum of 30 days. If the request is more than 30 calendar days, the employee should contact Human Resources regarding the impact on benefits, prior to management’s approval.  Benefit applications for more than 30 calendar days need to be approved by the insurance carrier, as per the plan, prior to the start of the leave. 
  1. If approved the immediate supervisor informs the employee in writing and provides Human Resources with a copy of the approval to be filed in the employee’s personnel file.
  1. For extended leaves or when required, the immediate supervisor will determine what system access the employee has (i.e. Excelicare, Panorama, etc.) and determine what system access (if any) should be suspended during the leave. Should system access be suspended, the immediate supervisor is required to document what access is being suspended and submit an IT helpdesk request to suspend the access. 
  1. The immediate supervisor will inform Human Resources and other departments of the employee’s return to work date in order to complete the necessary arrangements. This will vary depending upon the type of LOA taken, the need of the employee and the needs of the Agency. 
  • If system access for the employee was suspended (i.e. Excelicare, Panorama, etc.), the immediate supervisor will need to complete an IT helpdesk request listing what access is to be resumed with as much advance notice as possible. 
  1. If not approved, the immediate supervisor provides a copy of the request with a response by the director explaining why the request was denied. A copy will be sent to Human Resources.

Bereavement Leave

  1. The employee will contact the immediate supervisor as soon as possible after learning of a death that qualifies for bereavement leave.
  1. The employee will inform their immediate supervisor of the relationship with the deceased, and the immediate supervisor will advise the employee of the number of bereavement hours the employee is eligible to use.
  1. Should the employee require additional hours off, the employee will need to address this request with their immediate supervisor.
  1. The immediate supervisor will ensure, based on the wishes of the employee that colleagues are informed of funeral details, and the charity to which a donation from WDGPH will be made.
  1. Once the employee has selected a charity, the immediate supervisor will complete a cheque requisition and forward to Accounts Payable, Finance with a copy to Human Resources. 
  1. Accounts Payable, Finance will issue the cheque to the charity selected by the employee and confirm to Human Resources that a cheque has been sent.
  1. The employee will update ESS records upon return to work to reflect the days taken off.
  1. Employees are required to activate the absence notification on their voicemail and email

Jury/Witness Duty

  1. Employees must notify their immediate supervisor as soon as a notice is received.
  1. If the employee is subpoenaed, their immediate supervisor will review the case with the employee before the employee attends the proceeding.
  1. Employees must provide proof of attendance.
  1. Employees must deposit with WDGPH the full amount of compensation received, excluding mileage, travelling and meal allowances, along with an official receipt when available.
  1. Employees must submit a request for time using ESS.
  1. Employees must report to work on the days not required to report for jury or eligible witness duty.
  1. Employees who may be absent for witness duty unrelated to WDGPH business will discuss with their immediate supervisor whether comp time, flex time, vacation or leave of absence will be applied and input the time using ESS.
  1. Employees are required to activate the absence notification on their voicemail and email.

Responsibilities:

Directors will:

  • Review, approve or deny requests for unpaid leaves of absence; and
  • Grant leaves fairly to all employees in accordance with policy and procedures, while ensuring business continuity within the programs.

Manager/Supervisor will:

  • Ensure employees are qualified and approved for the leave they requested;
  • Ensure Human Resources and Payroll are advised of the employee’s request;
  • Ensure the employee’s attendance records reflect the leave;
  • Provide the director with appropriate documents to obtain final approval for the leave;
  • Ensure, based on the wishes of the employee, that colleagues are informed of funeral details, and the charity to which a donation from WDGPH will be made;
  • Complete a cheque requisition for the charitable donation and forward to Accounts Payable, Finance with a copy to Human Resources; and
  • Inform IT of any access restrictions, as appropriate. 

Human Resources/Payroll will:

  • Ensure records reflect accurate leave information;
  • Advise employees of any changes to benefits, where applicable;
  • Process leave payments where required through payroll process; and
  • Work with employees and managers to ensure leaves are properly documented and administered.

Employees will:

  • Understand and adhere to the policy/procedure regarding all leaves;
  • Advise their immediate supervisor as soon as possible of their need for a leave of absence;
  • Record their time off for a leave through ESS or timesheet where applicable;
  • Provide written documentation and medical certification as needed regarding details of the leave;
  • Obtain prior approval where required for a leave;
  • Record their time off for a leave through ESS or timesheet where applicable;
  • Notify their immediate supervisor of any changes to their leave;
  • Return Agency equipment when on a LOA on request and arrange to have it transported to WDGPH so it may be re-assigned.  

References and Related Forms, Policies and Procedures

Corresponding Policy:  CA.52.01.104  Leaves of Absence, Bereavement and Jury Duty
CA.52.01.102   Professional Development
CA.30.01.210  Cheque Requisition Form
Employee Standards Act, 2000

Contact for Inquiries

Manager, Human Resources

Approved by

Director, Administrative Services