New regulations for paid sick leave for federally-regulated private sector employees

Sick Leave

Federally-regulated private sector employers are reminded that, effective December 1, 2022, their employees will be able to earn entitlement to 10 days of paid sick leave as was reported in our December 2021 Blog Post – In advance of this change, supporting regulations were released last week: Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Canada Labour Code (Medical Leave with Pay), SOR/2022-228.

As discussed in our previous e-bulletin, employees subject to the Canada Labour Code are currently allowed a minimum of 5 days off work each calendar year (3 of which are paid days) for personal illness or injury. Statutory changes to the Canada Labour Code were announced last fall by way of Bill C-3 (An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Canada Labour Code, S.C. 2021, c. 27), as amended by Bill C-19 (Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 2, S.C. 2022, c. 10), to allow employees to earn 10 days of medical leave with pay, per year, starting December 1, 2022.  Employees will also continue to be entitled to 17 weeks of unpaid medical leave for personal illness or injury, organ or tissue donation, or medical appointments during working hours. However, the federal government has announced that it is looking to increase that leave to 27 weeks (see November 7, 2022 Backgrounder, “Minister O’Regan announces final regulations to bring 10 days of paid sick leave into force”).

Effective December 1, 2022, federally-regulated private sector employees who have completed 30 days of continuous employment with their employer will be entitled to 3 days of paid medical leave, and then they will be entitled to one day of paid medical leave at the beginning of each month for the previous month’s work, up to a maximum of 10 days per calendar year. This means that any employees who have been continuously employed for at least 30 days with their employer, will be entitled to three days of paid sick leave on December 31, 2022, plus an additional day each month, up to a maximum of 10 days. Any days not used in a calendar year may be carried over into the new calendar year, but only 10 days of paid medical leave may be taken in a calendar year.   If an employee takes paid medical leave of at least 5 consecutive days, an employer may request, in writing, a medical certificate within 15 days after the employee has returned to work, as proof that the employee was incapable of working for the period of their paid medical leave.

Federally-regulated employers will need to review existing medical leave policies to ensure compliance with the new Canada Labour Code provisions and regulations coming into force on December 1, 2022.

Please contact a member of our Labour and Employment Group if you have any questions regarding the above.

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