Compassionate Care Leave changes

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Compassionate care leave is available to employees who provide care for a family member who has a life-threatening illness. Effective January 3, 2016, the federal government made changes that extended the time period of compassionate care leave. These changes have been reflected in both the Employment Insurance Act and the Canada Labour Code.

The Employment Insurance Act

Employment insurance will provide eligible employees with compassionate  care benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks (increased from six), following a two-week waiting period. This change also allows multiple family members caring for the same person, to share the increased maximum number of weeks.

The Canada Labour Code

Employees subject to the Canada Labour Code are now entitled to a maximum of 28 weeks of compassionate care leave.

How your employees are affected

Refer to the Compassionate care leave legislation by jurisdiction for details on the legislated length of compassionate care leave and benefit coverage that applies to your employees.*

*Employers can grant more leave than is legislated, at their discretion.

 British Columbia – Employment Standards Act, RSBC 1996, C 113

The employer must continue to make premium contributions for all benefits coverage, if the employer pays the total cost of the plan. If both the employer and employee pay the cost of the plan and the plan member chooses to continue to pay his or her share of the cost, the current premium contribution arrangement will continue.

The maximum length of leave is 8 weeks.

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