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Providing paid and unpaid leave from work in Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Labour Standards Code requires employers to grant periods of leave. Some of these leaves are unpaid and some are paid.

Some leaves require an employee to have worked for a specified period of time to qualify for leave. Listed here are the most common types of leave from work and what your responsibilities to your employees are as an employer.

Pregnancy Leave

In order to qualify for pregnancy leave, a pregnant employee must have been employed with the same employer for at least one year.

To take pregnancy or parental leave, an employee must give the employer at least four weeks’ notice of both the date on which leave will start and, if the employee plans to return early, the planned date of return to work. This leave is often followed immediately by parental leave.

Note:

  • Pregnancy leave is an unpaid leave from work under the Labour Standards Code that can last up to 17 weeks. However, Employment Insurance may be available to employees who take these leaves.
  • Pregnancy Leave may start no earlier than 17 weeks before the expected birth date.
  • If an employee is taking both pregnancy and parental leaves, she must take them one right after the other and not go back to work between the two leaves.
  • An employee does not earn vacation leave while they are on pregnancy leave
  • Upon return to work, the employee should be placed in the same or similar position with the same duties, benefits and wages they had prior to Pregnancy Leave.

 

Parental Leave

Parental leave often follows maternity leave, but can be taken by either the mother or father. An employee who has been employed with the same employer for at least one year and who becomes a parent as a result of the birth of a child or through adoption would qualify for parental leave.

Note:

  • The maximum parental leave an employee can take is 52 weeks if the employee has not also taken pregnancy leave. If the employee has also taken pregnancy leave, the employee can take a maximum of only 35 weeks of parental leave for a combined total of 52 weeks.
  • Parental leave can be taken from the time after the child is born or arrives in the home. The employee loses this right if the leave is not taken within 52 weeks after the child arrives in the home.
  • An employee does not earn vacation leave while they are on pregnancy leave
  • Upon return to work, the employee should be placed in the same or similar position with the same duties, benefits and wages they had prior to Parental Leave.

 

Bereavement Leave

Bereavement Leave must be provided in the event of the death of a spouse, parent, guardian, child, ward, grandparent, grandchild, sister, brother, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law or brother in-law. of the employee.

  • An employee is entitled to an unpaid leave of absence of up to, at the employee’s option, five consecutive working days.
  • Employee is entitled to 3 days Bereavement Leave consisting of 1 day paid leave and 2 days unpaid leave.
  • An employer shall not dismiss an employee or give a notice of dismissal to an employee because he/she is off on Bereavement Leave.

 

Sick/Family Responsibility Leave

  • Employees are entitled to 3 days unpaid Sick or Family Responsibility Leave in a year
  • This leave may be used to care for an ill parent, child, or family member. It can also be used for medical, dental, or other similar appointments.
  • The employee must provide a note to his employer signed by a qualified medical practitioner if on sick leave for 3 consecutive days or more.
  • The employee must provide a written statement outlining the nature of the family responsibility leave if absent for 3 consecutive days or more.

 

Compassionate Care Leave

Employee may take up to 28 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a seriously ill family member who has a high risk of dying within 26 weeks.

Employees must be employed for at least three months with the same employer. An employee may take compassionate leave to care for any of the following family members of the employee or their spouse:

  • the employee’s spouse (including common-law partner)
  • a parent, step-parent or foster parent of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • a child, step-child of the employee or the employee’s spouse
  • a current or former foster child of the employee
  • a brother, step-brother, sister, or step-sister of the employee
  • a grandparent or step-grandparent of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
  • a grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
  • a brother-in-law, step-brother-in-law, sister-in-law or step-sister-in-law of the employee
  • a son-in-law or daughter-in-law of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
  • an uncle or aunt of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
  • the nephew or niece of the employee or of the employee’s spouse
  • the spouse of the employee’s current or former foster child, current or former guardian, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece
  • the current or former guardian of the employee
  • the current or former ward of the employee or the employee’s spouse

 

An employer can ask an employee to provide a medical certificate, from a medical doctor, stating that the employee’s family member is seriously ill.

Compassionate Care Leave may also be taken for a person who is considered by the employee to be like a family member. The employee must provide their employer, if requested, with a completed copy of the Compassionate Care Benefits Attestation form, whether or not they are making an application for EI Compassionate Care Benefits.

Leaves are often accompanied by sensitive situations. When an employee comes to you to discuss a leave, please give us a call. For any questions or concerns about employment leaves, please give your Business Counsellor a call at 1 888-234-2232 or email at [email protected]