Compassionate Care Leave Benefits Extended for Federally Regulated Employers

On June 23, 2015, Bill C-59 / Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1 received Royal Assent.

Among other things, the omnibus budget bill amends the Canada Labour Code and the Employment Insurance Act to extend compassionate care leave and associated employment insurance benefits for federally regulated employees from 8 to 26 weeks.

The amendments come into force on January 3, 2016.

These amendments will result in a disparity between provincial and federal compassionate care leave provisions. Currently, provincial employment standards legislation provides employees up to a maximum of 8 weeks of compassionate care leave. That period matches the current 8 week maximum for employment insurance benefits relating to such leaves. However, beginning January 3, 2016, provincially regulated employees will continue to be entitled to 8 weeks of compassionate care leave even though their maximum entitlement for employment insurance benefits will have increased to 26 weeks.

Questions relating to the content of this article should be directed to Scott A. McCann.