Bill 47: Leave Entitlement

On November 21, 2018, the Ontario Provincial Government passed Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018. This Bill repealed sections of the previous government’s the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (known as Bill 148). As part of this repeal, legislation surrounding Personal Emergency Leave has changed. Employers no longer need to give employees two paid sick days. The Act came into force on January 1, 2019. For more information on this Act, please visit Bill 47.

Do you know what your obligations are? Here are some important need-to-know’s about leave entitlement under Bill 47.

Employers have an obligation to provide up to 8 unpaid leave days per year.

The Employment Standards Act sets the labour laws for sick, family responsibility, and bereavement leave. As part of Bill 47, all employees must be granted the eight days in total per calendar year—regardless of what date they started with the company.

  • Sick leave – 3 days
  • Family responsibility leave – 3 days
  • Bereavement leave – 2 days

Sick Leave

Quite simply, sick leave is still sick leave. It is intended for employees themselves when they have fallen ill, suffered an injury or has a medical emergency. Medical appointments do not count as sick leave unless for an underlying medical condition.

Family Responsibility Leave

Family responsibility is determined to be necessary when an employee’s immediate family member has fallen ill or endures an injury or medical emergency.

Bereavement Leave

Bereavement leave is mandated in the event of a death of an employee’s spouse, parent, grandparent, child, sibling, or relative who relied on the employee for assistance.


Employees must inform employers before starting sick, family responsibility, or bereavement leave or as soon as possible after starting it. However, they do not need to give notice in writing. They also do not lose their right to leave if they fail to provide notice.


Employers can ask for evidence (including medical notes) from employees who take leave, if under reasonable circumstances. This depends on the individual case.

Sick leave questions?

If you have more questions on the subject or feel uncertain about Ontario’s labour laws, ask Employer Line.

In addition, to leave entitlements, Bill 47 brings changes that greatly impact how businesses must operate.

Call our helpline today at: 1 (833) 247-3650 to speak with our HR experts.