As reported by Yosie Saint-Cyr in the October 24, 2016 edition of HR Infodesk, the federal Employment Insurance Act was amended on June 22, 2016, in part to decrease the waiting period for benefits to commence from two weeks to one week. The new waiting period is to commence on January 1, 2017. The change, in effect, reduces the total benefit entitlement period under EI, although it doesn't change the maximum benefit period, or weeks of benefits payable.
The recent increase to Employment Insurance benefits for Compassionate Care Leave from 8 weeks to 28 weeks has given most employees in Canada the ability to care for seriously ill loved ones without jeopardizing their employment for up to 28 weeks. In addition to compassionate care leave most provinces also provide for critically-ill child care leave and some family responsibility leave enabling employees to cover the periods of illness of family members. So why don’t most provinces offer the same job protection to sick employees?
2014 saw the introduction of three new leaves protected under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”). These new leaves can result in significant absences from the workplace, which will create new human resources challenges for employers. Professionals engaged in workforce management and HR must be aware of these new obligations to employees in order to avoid accidental breaches of the ESA.