If you have worked with the same employer for at least 30 days straight, you are entitled to a leave of absence without pay for up to 8 weeks to provide care or support to a family member. There must be a doctor’s certificate that states the family member has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death within 26 weeks. The estimated date of death must be within 26 weeks from the day the doctor’s certificate is issued or from the day the leave began, if the leave began before the certificate was issued.
The family member you are caring for must be your spouse or cohabiting partner (meaning living together for at least one year), your child, your spouse or cohabiting partner’s child, your parent, or the spouse or common-law partner of your parent.
An employee must give their employer written notice of the intention to take compassionate leave at least 2 weeks before it is to begin, unless there is a valid reason why notice cannot be given. Notice must include the length of leave the employee intends to take.
Compassionate leave begins the first day of the week in which the doctor’s certificate is issued or which the employee stopped working, if the leave began before the certificate was issued.
An employee who is taking compassionate leave must provide written notice to their employer at least 2 weeks of any change in the length of leave intended to be taken, unless there is a valid reason why notice cannot be given.
Compassionate leave ends on the last day of the week in which either the family member dies or 26 weeks expires.
When requested by the employer in writing, the employee shall provide the employer with a copy of the doctor’s certificate. If the employer chooses to make this request, they must do so within 15 days of the employee’s return to work.
An employer cannot fire an employee or give notice of dismissal because the employee plans to take, applies for, or takes compassionate leave.
When an employee’s compassionate leave has ended, an employer must reinstate the employee on terms and conditions that are at the same level as they were before the employee’s leave began.