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Family or parental obligations

Workers may be absent from work to fulfil family or parental obligations. During their absence, whether short term or extended, their employment relationship is protected.

Short-term absences

A worker may be absent from work for 10 days a year to fulfil obligations relating to: 

  • the care, health or education of their child or their spouse’s child 
  • the health of a relative or a person for whom they act as an informal caregiver 

If authorized by the employer, these days of absence may be divided into half-days or hours. 

The worker must notify their employer as soon as possible of their absence and make reasonable efforts to limit the length of their absence. If warranted by the circumstances, the employer may ask them to provide a document attesting to the reasons for their absence and the length of the absence. 

Days of absence with pay

If a worker is credited with 3 months or more of uninterrupted service with their employer, the first 2 days of absence are with pay if they are absent for any of the following reasons:

They are entitled to a total of 2 days of absence with pay per calendar year (January 1 to December 31). These days may be divided into hours if authorized by the employer.

They may not be deferred from one year to the next or replaced with an indemnity.

These days may not be taken for personal reasons. For example, a worker could not take one of these days to go and sign papers at a notary’s office.

Examples

Charles's father is unable to travel alone for health reasons. He has to have surgery in another city and someone has to go with him. Charles has the right to be absent from work, since he has to take care of his father due to his health. This means that two of the days he is absent could be with pay.

François’s mother asks him to go on a short vacation with her because of her poor health. François cannot say that he will be absent because of his mother’s health, since the real reason for his absence is to go on a trip. This means that he would not be entitled to days of absence with pay to go on a trip with his mother. 

How to calculate the pay for days of absence with pay

Pay for days of absence is calculated in the same way as the statutory holiday indemnity. Each day of absence is calculated based on 1/20 of the wages earned during the 4 complete weeks of pay preceding the week of the holiday, excluding overtime.

If the employer authorizes the division of the days into hours, the pay must be calculated based on the number of hours of absence.  

If the employer does not authorize the division of the days into hours, a worker who is absent for part of a day takes leave without pay for the time they are absent. They are still entitled to their 2 full days of absence with pay.  

Example

Annabelle has to be absent from work for 3 hours because her daughter has an emergency dentist’s appointment. She works 35 hours a week, 7 hours a day and earns $18 an hour. How will her employer calculate her pay for this absence with pay?

Calculation of the wages earned during the 4 weeks of pay preceding the absence: 

140 h (35+35+35+35) x $18 = $2 520 

Calculation of the amount to be paid for one day of absence: 

$2 520 ÷ 20 = $126  

Proportion of the amount based on the number of hours of absence: 

$126 ÷ 7 hours = $18/h 

$18 x 3 hours of absence = $54 

18 x 4 hours worked = $72 

Annabelle’s employer will have to pay her $54 in addition to the 4 hours she worked that day: 

$72 (wages) + $54 (amount for the 3 h she was absent) = $126 

Do not hesitate to use monCalcul to calculate the indemnity.

Extended absence

A worker may be absent for:

  • up to 16 weeks over a 12-month period when they have to stay with a relative because of a serious accident or a serious illness. 
  • up to 27 weeks over a 12-month period if the person who is seriously ill has a life-threatening illness 
  • up to 36 weeks over a 12-month period if the person who is seriously ill or had an accident is a minor child 

See also

Laws and regulations

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