Ten Days of Paid Sick Leave

The Budget Implementation Act, No. 1, 2022 (Bill C-19), which received Royal Assent on June 23, 2022, makes minor amendments to the Act to Amend the Criminal Code and the Canada Labour Code(Bill C-3) to support the timely and effective implementation of 10 days of paid sick leave.

These amendments will be effective on December 1, 2022, and will:

  • Simplify the rate at which employees earn days of paid sick leave. After receiving their first three paid days, employees will no longer need to wait an additional 60 days before earning subsequent days at a rate of one day per month up to a maximum of 10 per year; 
  • Standardize the requirement to provide a medical certificate. Employers will be permitted to request a medical certificate for leaves of absence that are five days or longer, regardless of whether the leave is paid or unpaid; and 
  • Protect 'employees' earned days of paid sick leave if a retendering contract process or a business transfer affects them.

On July 16, 2022, consequential regulatory amendments were made to support the implementation of the paid medical leave provisions and to ensure that they can be enforced by clarifying the application of specific provisions to particular classes of employees.

  • The proposed Regulations would clarify that employees in the longshoring sector who are engaged in multi-employer employment (i.e., casual daily dispatch workers on the West Coast and bullpen workers on the East Coast) are considered to be engaged in continuous work for the purpose of eligibility for paid medical leave. Longshoring employees working for single employers would be covered by the Code and are not impacted by the proposed Regulations.
  • The proposed Regulations would also apply the definition of the "regular rate of wages” to paid medical leave. This definition currently applies to calculations for other types of paid leave under the Code, such as personal leave. Under the proposed Regulations, the regular rate of wages for an employee whose hours of work differ from day to day or who is paid on a basis other than time (e.g., commission) would be (a) the average daily earnings of an employee (other than overtime pay) for the 20 days the employee worked immediately before the first day of the period of paid leave; or (b) an amount calculated by a method agreed on under a collective agreement that is binding on the employer and the employee.
  • The proposed Regulations would require all employers to keep the following records related to each period of medical leave with pay: The dates of commencement and termination of the leave; The year of employment in respect of which the leave was earned; The number of days of leave carried over from a previous year; A copy of any written request for a medical certificate made by an employer; and A copy of any medical certificate submitted by an employee.
  • The proposed Regulations would modify the paid medical leave provisions in the Code to require an employer who uses a year other than a calendar year to calculate the entitlement to an annual vacation of their employees to use that same year for the purpose of the paid medical leave provisions.
  • The proposed Regulations would also add medical leave with pay to the list of paid leaves that are counted as time worked for the purposes of hours of work averaging.

More details on the ten paid sick days are available here.

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