Family Caregivers Bill

April 30 2014 - Bill 21, the Employment Standards Amendments Act (Leaves to Help Families), 2014, passed its third reading in the Ontario legislature with all party support. According to Kevin Flynn, Ontario Minister of Labour:

"The one thing working Ontarians need most when it comes to caring for seriously ill or injured family members is time to be with their loved ones. These new leaves are a matter of compassion. They will increase job security and are the right thing to do for Ontario families."

The amendments will enable caregivers to focus on what matters most to them - providing care for their loved ones - without the fear of losing their jobs. It builds on existing Family Medical Leave and creates three new job-protected leave categories:

  • Family Caregiver Leave - up to 8 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for employees to provide care or support to a family member with a serious medical condition.
  • Critically Ill Child Care Leave up to 37 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to provide care to a critically ill child.
  • Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance Leave - up to 52 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for parents of a missing child and up to 104 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for parents of a child who has died as a result of a crime.

Note that:

  1. A doctor's note will be required to qualify for Family Caregiver Leave and Critically Ill Child Care Leave.
  2. The Critically Ill Child Care Leave and Crime-Related Child Death and Disappearance Leave are necessary to give families access to new Federal benefits.

Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, commented:

"When a family member is sick, home is where they want to be. Being cared for at home is more comfortable for patients, can enhance recovery from illness or injury and reduce strain on our hospitals. These leaves provide support to caregivers so they in turn can support their loved one."

Mario Sergio, Minister Responsible for Seniors, said:

"Aging at home is important to many seniors who want to be with their families. The new Family Caregiver Leave will help more elderly Ontarians recover from injury or illness at home by giving employees time off from work to care for loved ones."

More about Ontario's Family Medical Leave