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Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance Leave

  • Revised: November 20, 2015
  • Content last reviewed: November 2015

This guide is provided for your information and convenience only. It is not a legal document. For complete information, refer to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and its regulations.

Crime-related child death or disappearance leave is an unpaid job-protected leave of absence. It provides up to 104 weeks with respect to the crime-related death of a child and up to 52 weeks with respect to the crime-related disappearance of a child.

Eligibility

Employees who have been employed by their employer for at least six consecutive months and who are covered by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) are entitled to crime-related child death or disappearance leave if it is probable, considering the circumstances, that a child of the employee died or disappeared as a result of a crime.

An employee is not entitled to this leave if the employee is charged with the crime or if it is probable, considering the circumstances, that the child was a party to the crime.

“Child” means a child, step-child or foster child who is under 18 years of age.

Generally speaking, crime means an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Federal Income Support Grant

An employee who takes time away from work because of the crime-related death or disappearance of their child may be eligible for the Federal Income Support for Parents of Murdered or Missing Children grant. For information about this grant, visit Service Canada’s website or contact them at 1-877-842-5601.

Timing of a Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance Leave

A leave for the crime-related disappearance of a child must be taken within the 53-week period that begins in the week the child disappeared.

A leave for the crime-related death of a child must be taken within the 105-week period that begins in the week the child died.

In most cases, an employee must take the leave in a single period.

Change in Circumstances

If an employee takes such a leave and the circumstances change and it no longer seems probable that the child died or disappeared as a result of the crime, the employee’s entitlement to a leave ends on the day on which it no longer seems probable.

If an employee takes a leave relating to the disappearance of his or her child, and the child is found within the 52-week period that begins in the week the child disappears, the employee is entitled to:

  1. remain on leave for 14 days after the day the child is found, if the child is found alive; or
  2. take 104 weeks of leave from the day the child disappeared if the child is found dead (this applies whether or not the employee is still on leave when the child is found).

If the child is found dead more than 52 weeks after the week in which the child disappeared, the employee is entitled to take a leave related to the death of a child of up to 104 weeks.

Sharing Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance Leave

The total amount of crime-related child disappearance leave taken by one or more employees under the ESA in respect of the same disappearance (or disappearances that are the result of the same event) is 52 weeks.

The total amount of crime-related child death leave taken by one or more employees under the ESA in respect of the same death (or deaths that are the result of the same event) is 104 weeks.

The employees who are sharing the leave can be on leave at the same time, or at different times; the ESA does not impose any restrictions in this regard. The sharing requirement applies whether or not the employees work for the same employer.

Notice Requirements: Advance Notice and a Written Plan

An employee must inform the employer in writing that he or she will be taking a crime-related child death or disappearance leave and must provide the employer with a written plan that indicates the weeks in which he or she will take the leave.

If an employee has to begin such a leave before notifying the employer, he or she must inform the employer in writing and provide the employer with a written plan as soon as possible after beginning the leave.

An employee who does not give notice does not lose his or her right to the leave.

Change in Employees Plan

An employee may take a leave at a time other than that indicated in their original plan provided to their employer so long as the new dates meets the restrictions of the ESA and,

  1. the employee requests permission from the employer to do so in writing and the employer grants permission in writing; or
  2. the employee provides the employer with four weeks written notice before the change takes place.

Evidence

An employer may require an employee who takes a crime-related child death or disappearance leave to provide reasonable evidence of the employee’s entitlement to the leave.

Rights During and at the End of Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance Leave

Employers do not have to pay wages when an employee is on a crime-related child death or disappearance leave.

Employees who take crime-related child death or disappearance leave are entitled to the same rights as employees who take pregnancy or parental leave. For example, an employer cannot threaten, fire or penalize in any other way an employee for taking, planning on taking, being eligible or being in a position to become eligible to take a crime-related child death or disappearance leave. See “Rights During Pregnancy and Parental Leaves” in the Pregnancy and Parental Leave chapter.


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