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Navigating the 13 Leaves of Absence in Ontario

May 24, 2019, by Corina Sibley and Tam Campbell Trant | Work Environment and Policies

There are 13 different types of Leave of Absences (LOAs) in Ontario to know about and your employees are entitled to take these unpaid, job-protected LOAs should the need arise.  An eligible employee cannot be fired for asking about, or for taking, these leaves.  They include:

  1. Pregnancy and Parental Leave
  2. Sick Leave
  3. Bereavement Leave
  4. Family Responsibility Leave
  5. Family Caregiver Leave
  6. Family Medical Leave
  7. Critical Illness Leave
  8. Organ Donor Leave
  9. Reservist Leave
  10. Child Death Leave
  11. Crime-Related Child Disappearance Leave
  12. Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave
  13. Jury Duty Leave

There are specific eligibility requirements for each LOA and a certain number of days or weeks that an employee is entitled to (mostly unpaid but some are paid, such as the first 5 days of domestic or sexual violence leave must be paid).  In addition, an employee may be entitled to more than one of these leaves, based on a single event.

While on leave (except for Reservist Leave), the employer must continue to pay contributions into certain benefit plans (such as pension, life and extended health insurance, accidental death and dental plans), unless the plan requires both employer and employee contributions, and the employee advises the employer - in writing - that they will not be paying their contributions during the leave.  

When the employee returns, they must be reinstated to the same position they held prior to their leave, or to a comparable position if that position no longer exists. 

Navigating the 13 LOAs in Ontario is tricky, but there is help available. 

For more detailed information visit:

Ontario Employment Standards Guide

Jury Duty Information

Other provinces have similar LOAs.  Please check the applicable provincial employment standards website to find further information. 

This blog appeared originally on Dec 2, 2015 and has been updated for legislation changes.

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