Bill 47: Leave Entitlement

On November 21st, 2018, the Ontario Provincial Government passed Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, repealing certain sections of the previous government’s Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017.

As part of this repeal, the Personal Emergency Leave entitlement changed. As of January 1st, 2019, employers no longer need to give employees two paid sick days. For more information, please visit Bill 47. Here’s what you need to know about the leave entitlement currently in force under Bill 47.

Employer Obligations: Leave Days

Personal Emergency Leave was replaced with the following three new, unpaid leaves: sick leave, family responsibility leave, and bereavement leave. As part of Bill 47, all employees must be granted eight unpaid leave days in total per calendar year regardless of when they started with the company. The eight total days are broken down based on the leave being taken, as follows:

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

Sick Leave

Sick leave is intended for employees when they have fallen ill, suffered an injury or have a medical emergency. Medical appointments do not count as sick leave unless they are for an underlying medical condition.

Family Responsibility Leave

Family responsibility is for the illness, injury, medical emergency, or other urgent matter relating to an immediate family member.

Bereavement Leave

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

Notice of Leave

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.

Required Evidence

Employers can ask employees who take leave for evidence, such as medical notes, under reasonable circumstances. This depends on the individual case.

Have questions about employee leave?

If you have more questions about employees’ leave of absence, ask Employer Line. In addition to leave entitlements, Bill 47 brings changes that greatly impact how businesses must operate. Find out more from our HR experts: 1-833-247-3650.