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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 family member 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. Under certain 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.

Example of a day of absence with pay

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.

Example of a day of absence without 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 the 2 days of absence with pay

Whether the worker is full time or part time or paid by commission, days of absence with pay are calculated in the same way as the statutory holiday indemnity.

Do not hesitate to use monCalcul to estimate the amount.

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 of how to calculate the pay for an absence divided into hours

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 h = $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 family member or a person for whom they are a natural caregiver and who has a serious illness or had a serious accident
  • 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 a12-month period if their minor child is seriously ill or had a serious accident 
    • the absence may be extended for a total of 104 weeks if their minor child has a serious, life-threatening illness, as attested by a medical certificate

See also

Laws and regulations

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