Human Resources Legislative Update
Federal Bill C-3 Passes, Includes Amended Medical Leave Provisions
Date: December 20, 2021
We reported on Bill C-3, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Canada Labour Code when it was tabled in late November: Federal Government Tables Bill to Provide 10 Days Paid Sick Leave and to Protect Healthcare Workers From Intimidation. Bill C-3 has now passed, with amendments made at Committee to the Canada Labour Code provisions, as set out below.
Canada Labour Code Amendments
There is now a service requirement for accrual of paid medical leave for the calendar year in which the sick leave provision comes into force (from a minimum of three paid medical leave days after 30 days of continuous employment with the employer, to a maximum of 10 paid days). In each subsequent calendar year, at the beginning of each month after completing one month of continuous employment with the employer, an employee is entitled to one day of medical leave of absence with pay, up to a maximum of 10 days.
Under the amendments, an employer may now only request that an employee provide a certificate issued by a health care practitioner certifying that the employee was incapable of working for the period of their medical leave of absence with pay only where the employee has at least five days of consecutive absence.
The bereavement provision of the Canada Labour Code was recently amended to extend the bereavement leave by five unpaid days (for a total of 10 days, with the first three days paid where the employee has three consecutive months of continuous employment with the employer).
As amended at Committee, Bill C-3 further amends the bereavement leave as follows:
- in the event of the death of a child (as defined) of an employee or the death of a child of the employee’s spouse or common law partner, a leave of absence from employment of up to eight weeks;
- in the event of a stillbirth (as defined) experienced by an employee or an employee’s spouse or common-law partner or where they would have been a parent (as defined) of the child born as a result of the pregnancy, a leave of absence from employment of up to eight weeks.
This leave, as applicable, may be taken during the period that begins on the day on which the death or stillbirth occurs and ends 12 weeks after the latest of the day on which any funeral, burial or memorial service of the child, or in respect of the stillbirth, occurs.
These provisions will come into force on a future date, to be proclaimed.
Criminal Code Amendments
The provisions in Bill C-3 also amend the Criminal Code to address circumstances where healthcare workers, or those seeking to access healthcare, are subject to intimidation, as discussed in our prior post.
These provisions were not changed at Committee, and will come into force 30 days after the Bill’s Royal Assent on December 17, 2021.
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