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Personal Emergency Leave days in Ontario

UPDATE: On October 23, 2018, the Ontario government announced that it would reverse many of the changes implemented through Bill 148, including Personal Emergency Leave. We will update this post soon with more information. For now, though, the bill remains in effect.

All Ontario employers are required to give ten Personal Emergency Leave (PEL) days to employees, the first two of which must be paid. 

Employees qualify for PEL days after one week of work. Personal Emergency Leave (PEL) days can be used for:

  • A personal illness, injury or medical emergency
  • The death, illness, injury or medical emergency of a family member or person the employee considers a family member
  • An urgent matter concerning a family member or person an employee considers a family member

Frequently asked Questions:

Is vacation pay calculated on PEL days?

  • Yes

Can my employees carry over PEL days to the next Calendar year?

  • No, PEL days cannot be carried forward.  They are either used in the current calendar year or not used at all.

If a new employee starts halfway through the year, do they get fewer PEL days?

  • No, every employee is entitled to ten PEL days in a year, no matter when they start work.

Could an employee take a PEL day to attend an annual medical or dental checkup?

  • It depends.  An appointment for an annual check-up would generally not trigger  an entitlement to personal emergency leave unless it has been scheduled in respect of an illness, injury or medical emergency. However, if an employee had regularly scheduled appointments for the treatment or management of a chronic medical condition such as Crohn's disease or diabetes, those appointments would trigger an entitlement because they are absences related to an illness.

If an employee takes a paid or unpaid PEL day within that pay period before the public holiday, an employer will calculate as follows:

  • So, you’ve paid the employee (for example) 1 day of PEL = 8 hours within the pay period before the public holiday
  • When you apply the above calculation you do not count the PEL day as a day work AND you do not count the PEL pay as wages

For more frequently asked questions, please see the Ministry of Labour’s website.