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Key Components to Setting Up Payroll: Part 6.3 – Compassionate Care Leave

6 mins read

This article is written to provide you information on Compassionate Care Leave according to Saskatchewan Employment Standards and includes a downloadable guideline template for use at your company.

The Canadian Federal Government has legislation concerning Compassionate Care Leave however, each province/territory jurisdiction has its own standard to how this Leave of Absence (LOA) is administered which either meets or exceeds federal legislation. Due to this potential difference, we always recommend getting acquainted with the governing jurisdiction your business operates in. In this series, we reference Saskatchewan Employment Standards and Employment Act.

Reminder: If your provincial or territorial jurisdiction does not have legislation around a certain policy, the Canadian legislature takes precedence.

Compassionate Care Leave

Compassionate Care Leave is offered to employees in the event they are required to provide care and support to a family member who is gravely ill, with a significant risk of death and unable to care for themselves. This leave extends to a variety of family members whether they are directly related to the employee or their spouse/partner.

An employee with more than thirteen (13) weeks of continuous employment with their employer is entitled to take up to 28 weeks of time off from work. This time off can be taken in a single event or segmented within a 52 week period, providing no events are shorter than one (1) week in length. Employees are required to provide their employer(s) with written notice as soon as possible, with the appropriate documentation as requested.

Family Member Eligibility

  • Direct/Spouse/Partner Relations: Children, spouse, partner, parent, step-parent, siblings, step-siblings, grandparents, step-grandparents, children-in-law (married or common law), parent-in-law (married or common law), uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, foster parents, foster children, wards, and guardians.

The employee must notify the employer of their intended return to work date as soon as possible. The employee can return to the same job if the LOA is less than 60 days, or the employer may reinstate the employee into a comparable job if the leave is longer than 60 days with no reduction in wages or benefits.

Compassionate Care Benefits

Those who take this leave may be eligible for EI Benefits through Service Canada. Employment Insurance (EI) caregiving benefits provide financial assistance while you’re away from work to care for or support a critically ill or injured person or someone needing end-of-life care. For more information, we recommend contacting Service Canada toll-free at 1 (800) 206-7218.

There are 3 types of benefits that the federal government provides:

A. Family Caregiver Benefit for Children: up to 35 weeks for a critically ill or injured person under 18 years.
B. Family Caregiver Benefits for Adults: up to 15 weeks for a critically ill or injured person over 18 years.
C. Compassionate Care Benefits: up to 26 weeks for a person of any age who is gravely ill, with a significant risk of death or unable to care for themselves.

Now that you have been introduced to what Compassionate Care Leave is, the requirements set by Saskatchewan and Canada Employment Standards/Act, keep in mind that you can deviate from the minimum standards and provide additional care for your employees, which you will notice in the downloadable Compassionate Leave Guideline that has been provided below for your business.

Please stay tuned for part 7 when we discuss Taxable Benefits and deductions.

Download the Key Components to Setting Up Payroll: Part 6.3 – Resource & Template (zip).

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Visit our Resource Library for all available downloads.

If you require assistance with any of the guides, forms or templates, please contact a BIG representative.

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