Canadian Federal Government Proposes Regulations to Support New Canada Labour Code Paid Medical Leave

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Earlier this year, pursuant to Bill C-3, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Canada Labour Code (Act) and Bill C-19, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022 and other measures, the Canada Labour Code (CLC) was amended to provide eligible federally regulated employees up to 10 days of paid medical leave per calendar year. The actual number of days earned will depend on the length of the employee’s continuous employment.  The entitlement to the new paid medical leave is not yet in force.

On July 16, 2022, the federal government published Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Canada Labour Code (Medical Leave with Pay) (Proposed Regulations) “to support the implementation of the paid medical leave provisions and to ensure that they can be enforced.”  The Proposed Regulations are intended to come into force on the day section 7 of the Act comes into force, which will be December 1, 2022, unless an earlier date is established through an order of the Governor in Council.

The Proposed Regulations:

  • Clarify that employees in the longshoring sector who are engaged in multi-employer employment are considered to be engaged in continuous work for the purposes of eligibility for paid medical leave.
  • Provide that the definition in section 17 of the Canada Labour Standards Regulations for the “regular rate of wages” applies to paid medical leave.
  • 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.
  • Require an employer that uses a year other than a calendar year to calculate the entitlement to annual vacation of their employees to use that same year for the purposes of the paid medical leave provisions.
  • Classify violations of the paid medical leave provisions in accordance with the Administrative Monetary Penalties (Canada Labour Code) Regulations.
  • Make minor technical changes, such as:
    • Adding medical leave with pay to the list of paid leaves that are counted as time worked for the purposes of hours of work averaging; and
    • Updating paragraph 5(g) of the Standards for Work-Integrated Learning Activities Regulations to reflect that student interns — who are not required to be paid — are not entitled to paid medical leave.

Interested persons may comment on the Proposed Regulations until August 15, 2022. Although use of the online commenting feature is strongly encouraged, if preferred, comments may be emailed. 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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