Bill 30, The Ontario Family Caregiver Leave Act (Employment Standards Amendment), 2011 

publication 

January 2012

Employment and Labour Bulletin

On December 8, 2011, Bill 30, the Ontario Family Caregiver Leave Act (Employment Standards Amendment), 2011, received first reading.

If passed, Bill 30 will create a new leave providing Ontario employees with up to 8 weeks unpaid leave, to provide care or support to family members. Family members include the following individuals:

1. The employee's spouse.

2. The parent, step-parent or foster parent of the employee, or the employee's spouse.

3. A child, step-child or foster child of the employee, or the employee's spouse.

4. A grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee or the employee's spouse.

5. The spouse of the child of the employee.

6. The employee's brother or sister.

7. A relative of the employee who is dependent on the employee for care or assistance.

8. Any individual prescribed as a family member.

The employee is eligible for 8 weeks of leave with respect to each individual who requires care and may take Family Caregiver Leave without fear of losing his or her job.

A doctor's note is required to qualify for Family Caregiver Leave. The employer may require the employee to provide a copy of a certificate issued by a medical practitioner stating the family member has a serious medical condition.

The Family Caregiver Leave is in addition to existing leaves provided by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 to aid employees dealing with ill family members. Specifically, the Family Caregiver Leave is in addition to both the Family Medical Leave, which is available when a family member has a serious medical condition with significant risk of death occurring within 26 weeks, and the Personal Emergency Leave, which provides up to 10 unpaid days, if the employer regularly employs 50 or more employees.

The proposed legislation is expected to receive second reading at the end of February or early March, 2012. If Bill 30 is carried at second reading and enacted at the third reading, the Family Caregiver Leave will be law as of July 1, 2012.

by J. Michael Mulroy

a cautionary note

The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.

© McMillan LLP 2011