British Columbia Compassionate Care Bill

Recently passed changes to the province's Employment Standards Act will allow eligible employees to take up to eight weeks off work, without pay, to care for a gravely ill family member.
||Last Updated: 06/28/2006

Bill 8, the

Employment Standards (Compassionate Care Leave) Amendment Act, 2006

, was introduced on March 9, 2006 and received Royal Assent on March 28, 2006. At press time, it had not yet been enacted.

The bill amends the Act to include a new section - 52.1 - that will allow for compassionate care leave. The job-protected time off work will complement an Employment Insurance (EI) benefit for compassionate care leave which took effect on January 4, 2004

To be eligible for the leave in British Columbia once the bill is enacted, an employee will require a medical certificate stating that a family member has a "serious medical condition with a significant risk of death with 26 weeks" (or within another time period set out in regulations under the Act).

If the employee requests leave for compassionate care, the employer will be obliged to allow it. The employee must provide the employer with a copy of the medical certificate "as soon as possible".

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