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Canada Labour Code

Version of section 239 from 2019-09-01 to 2020-09-30:


Marginal note:Entitlement to leave

  •  (1) Every employee is entitled to and shall be granted a medical leave of absence from employment of up to 17 weeks as a result of

    • (a) personal illness or injury;

    • (b) organ or tissue donation; or

    • (c) medical appointments during working hours.

  • Marginal note:Certificate

    (2) If a medical leave of absence is three days or longer, the employer may require that the employee provide a certificate issued by a health care practitioner certifying that the employee was incapable of working for the period of time that they were absent from work.

  • Marginal note:Notice to employer

    (3) If an employee intends to take a medical leave of absence, they must give written notice to the employer of the day on which the leave is to begin and the expected duration of the leave at least four weeks before that day, unless there is a valid reason why that notice cannot be given, in which case the employee must provide the employer with written notice as soon as possible.

  • Marginal note:Change — in length of leave

    (4) An employee must provide the employer with written notice of any change in the length of their medical leave of absence as soon as possible.

  • Marginal note:Employment opportunities

    (5) An employee is entitled, on written request, to be informed in writing of every employment, promotion or training opportunity that arises during the period when the employee is on a medical leave of absence under this Division and for which the employee is qualified, and on receiving that request, the employer must provide the information to the employee.

  • Marginal note:Prohibition

    (6) Subject to subsection (7), an employer is prohibited from dismissing, suspending, laying off, demoting or disciplining an employee because the employee intends to take or has taken a medical leave of absence or taking such an intention or absence into account in any decision to promote or train the employee.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (7) An employer may assign to a different position, with different terms and conditions of employment, any employee who, after a medical leave of absence, is unable to perform the work performed by the employee prior to the absence.

  • Marginal note:Benefits continue

    (8) The pension, health and disability benefits and the seniority of an employee who is absent from work due to medical leave under this Division accumulate during the entire period of the medical leave of absence.

  • Marginal note:Contributions by employee

    (9) If contributions are required from an employee in order for the employee to be entitled to a benefit referred to in subsection (8), the employee is responsible for and must, within a reasonable time, pay those contributions for the period of any medical leave of absence unless, at the commencement of the absence or within a reasonable time after, the employee notifies the employer of the employee’s intention to discontinue contributions during that period.

  • Marginal note:Contributions by employer

    (10) An employer who pays contributions in respect of a benefit referred to in subsection (8) must continue to pay those contributions during an employee’s medical leave of absence in at least the same proportion as if the employee were not absent, unless the employee does not pay the employee’s contributions, if any, within a reasonable time.

  • Marginal note:Failure to pay contributions

    (11) For the purposes of calculating the pension, health and disability benefits of an employee in respect of whom contributions have not been paid as required by subsections (9) and (10), the benefits do not accumulate during the medical leave of absence and employment on the employee’s return to work is deemed to be continuous with employment before the employee’s absence.

  • Marginal note:Deemed continuous employment

    (12) For the purposes of calculating benefits, other than benefits referred to in subsection (8), of an employee who is absent from work due to medical leave under this Division, employment on the employee’s return to work shall be deemed to be continuous with employment before the employee’s absence.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (13) The Governor in Council may make regulations defining terms for the purposes of this Division.

  • R.S., 1985, c. L-2, s. 239
  • R.S., 1985, c. 9 (1st Supp.), s. 14, c. 43 (3rd Supp.), s. 2
  • 1993, c. 42, s. 32
  • 2001, c. 34, s. 22(F)
  • 2012, c. 27, s. 11
  • 2018, c. 27, s. 487
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