Bill 30: Ontario has Proposed a Family Caregiver Leave

Feb 20, 2012

Bill 30 in Ontario, Canada

Navigating through the numerous leave of absence provisions in the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) is about to get even more difficult.

On December 8th, 2011, the Ministry of Labour introduced Bill 30. If it becomes law, employees will be entitled to take up to 8 weeks off work each year to care for certain family members and relatives suffering from a serious medical condition.

What is a Serious Medical Condition?

Bill 30 does not currently define the term “serious medical condition”, which will no doubt make it difficult for employers to manage this kind of leave. Hopefully the government will amend this bill to include a definition for this term before it becomes law.

Yet Another Mandated Leave of Absence

Did you know that this would be the sixth new leave of absence introduced into the ESA in the past 7 years? The others are: personal emergency leave, declared emergency leave, family medical leave, reservist leave and organ donor leave.

Is there a Small Business Exemption?

No. Except for personal emergency leave, which applies only in workplaces with more than 50 employees, the government does not recognize that accommodating these mandatory leaves is more difficult for small employers.

What is a Small Employer to Do?

The introduction of another statutory imposed leave of absence makes scheduling work that much more difficult for small employers.

Employers will need a more flexible work force that can take on the duties of others with little or no notice. Cross training and outsourcing will no doubt become more prevalent.

Our Winter 2012 Breakfast seminar

Bill 30 is one of ten topics we will be covering in our complimentary breakfast seminars on February 27th & 28th in Toronto and March 2nd in Barrie. For more information on the seminar, please click here.

If you have any questions about Bill 30 or other leaves of absence under the Employment Standards Act, please call us at 1-888-640-1728 or e-mail us at [email protected].

For more employer information about the Employment Standards Act, please click here.

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