Bill C-3: 10 Days of Paid Sick Leave for Federal Employees

  • Sickness & Leave
Bill C3 10 Days of Paid Sick Leave for Federal Employees
Olivia Cicchini

Olivia Cicchini, Employment Law Expert

(Last updated )

The federal Bill C-3, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code and the Canada Labour Code, received Royal Assent on December 17, 2021. It amends the Canada Labour Code (CLC) to provide 10 days of paid sick leave for employees in the federally regulated private sector.

What significant amendments have been made by Bill C-3?

Bill C-3 amends the following provisions in Part 3 of the CLC:

Medical leave of absence

Bill C-3 provides that an employee may earn and take up to 10 days of medical leave of absence with pay in a calendar year.

  • A day of medical leave not availed in a calendar year will carry forward to January 1 of the next calendar year. It will then be included in the 10 days that can be earned in the new year.
  • The medical leave with pay can be taken in one or more periods. But the employer may require that each period of leave be of not less than one day’s duration.
  • The employer may request for a health care practitioner’s certificate verifying the employee’s inability to work during their medical leave of absence with pay only if the employee avails of at least five consecutive days of sick leave.
  • An employer may ask for a health care practitioner’s certificate when a medical leave of absence without pay is three days or more.

Bill C-3 also authorizes the Governor in Council to make regulations to alter, in certain cases, the provisions respecting medical leave of absence with pay.

Bereavement leave

Bill C-3 extends the period during which an employee may take a leave of absence from employment in the event of the death of a child. It also provides for the entitlement of an employee to a leave of absence in the event of the loss of an unborn child.

The federal bereavement leave was extended by five unpaid days (making it a total of 10) on June 29, 2021. The amendment came into force three months later – September 29, 2021. Please note that the first three days of the leave are paid if an employee has worked for the employer for three consecutive months.

Bill C-3 further amends the bereavement leave provisions by:

  • Providing a leave of absence from work of up to eight weeks in the event of the death of a child of an employee or the death of a child of the employee’s spouse or common-law partner
  • Providing a leave of absence from work of up to eight weeks in the event of a stillbirth experienced by an employee or an employee’s spouse or common-law partner or where they would have been a parent of the child born as a result of the pregnancy.
  • The leave may be availed during the period that starts on the day on which the death occurs and ends 12 weeks after the latest of the days on which any funeral, burial or memorial service of the child is held.

When do these provisions come into force?

These amendments to federal medical leave and bereavement leave will come into effect on a day yet to be announced by order of the Governor in Council.

Do you need help updating your sick leave policy to comply with the new amendments?

Our experts can help you with human resource management and support you with any other HRhealth and safety, or employment matters that arise. To learn more about how our services can benefit your business, call an expert today at 1 (833) 247-3652.

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