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Q&A: Maximum age of child for domestic violence leave eligibility

domestic violence leaveIn this conference Q&A, we address the eligibility criteria for domestic violence leave in relation to an employee’s child.

In partnership with Stringer LLP, First Reference Inc. recently hosted the 19th Annual Employment Law Conference on June 12, 2018, where we discussed the latest legal developments including issues surrounding practical strategies for compliance with Bill 148.

We received a large number of questions from conference attendees during the Q&A session. Though we could not answer them all during the conference, the First Reference Blog will be updated weekly to provide further clarity on this year’s hot topics based on the questions we received.


Is there a limit for age of child who is assaulted to access domestic violence leave?


Effective January 1, 2018, Ontario has seen the introduction of the new domestic or sexual violence leave, which now forms section 49.7 of the Employment Standards Act (ESA).

Employees are entitled to up to 10 full days of domestic or sexual violence leave every calendar year, whether they are employed on a full- or part-time basis. The leave applies to those who have been employed by an employer for at least 13 consecutive weeks, who themselves or whose child has experienced domestic or sexual violence or the threat of domestic or sexual violence, and who wish to take time off for an approved purpose prescribed in the Act such as seeking medical attention, accessing victim services, receiving counselling, moving or seeking legal assistance.

Employees are also entitled to take up to 15 weeks of domestic or sexual violence leave within a calendar year for the purposes set out above.

The first five days of domestic or sexual violence leave taken in a calendar year must be paid. The rest are unpaid. The first five days are to be paid whether the employee takes leave from the 15-week entitlement or the 10-day entitlement.

According to s 49.7(1) of the ESA, a “child” means the employee’s child, step-child, child under legal guardianship or foster child who is under 18 years of age.

To learn more about eligibility, notice requirements and other important definitions surrounding domestic or sexual violence leave in Ontario, consult The Human Resources Advisor, Ontario edition. If you are not already a subscriber, try a 30-day free trial here.

Please Note: This article is prepared for information purposes only; it is not legal advice. Consult a lawyer before acting on it or to obtain legal advice or a legal opinion.

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Ava Z Moradi, JD

Editor at First Reference
Ava Moradi, JD, received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) at the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law in 2014. She is a writer, researcher and editor in employment and labour law at First Reference. She is one of the content editors for The Human Resources Advisor, Ontario, Western and Atlantic editions and a contributor to First Reference Talks and HRinfodesk.
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