Critically Ill Child Care Leave

As of July 9, 2013, the NS Labour Standards Code has been changed with regard to employees who have a critically ill child under the age of 18 and require time away from their job in order to provide care. Under the Code, an employee who has worked for the company for at least three months may be eligible to take up to 37 weeks off of work over a 52 week time frame. The leave must be at least one week’s duration. The employee may be asked to provide a medical certificate from their child’s physician that states the critical injury/illness as well as the time period that the employee would need of to provide care.

An employee wishing to take this leave must advise their employer as soon as possible in writing and provide a plan outlining when they wish to take the leave over the 52 week period since it can be broken up into one week or greater periods. The plan can be revised over time as long as the employer is given reasonable notice. In certain circumstances the employee can extend their leave or take consecutive leaves, however, normally the leave ends when time specified in the certificate has been taken, the 37 week period has been used up, or the employee stops providing care for the child. The employee can also return to work early by giving at least 14 days’ notice.

During the time of the leave, the employee has the right to maintain their benefit plan and to return to their job at the end of the leave with the same pay and benefits as before they started the leave.

For more detailed information, please contact HR pros or the Labour Standards Division.

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