Workplace Wire

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Liberals Table Amendments to Ontario’s ESA


The McGuinty government announced that it will table its Family Caregiver Leave amendments to the Ontario legislature later today.

The proposed changes add to the Employment Standards Act, 2000’s existing Family Medical Leave provision which gives workers the right to take up to eight weeks of unpaid, job-protected time away from work to attend to ill family members. Under the current scheme, employees can take leave to attend to only certain prescribed loved ones (children, parents and spouses) with medical conditions serious enough for there to be a risk of death within a 26-week period.

The new Family Caregiver Leave proposal expands the list of family members for whom a caregiver leave may be sought by including grandparents, brothers and sisters, and “other dependant relatives.” Employees will also be able to request these unpaid leaves to assist seriously ill loved ones, not just those who may be terminally ill. Medical certificates from qualified health practitioners attesting to the illnesses in question will still be required.

Check back here for news on future developments, as follows the proposed amendments through the enactment process.

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