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Leave for reservists

A reservist of the Canadian Armed Forces may be absent from civilian work, without pay, to conduct operations in Canada or abroad. During their absence, their employment relationship is protected.

Eligible operations

Abroad

After 12 months of uninterrupted service with their employer, reservists may be absent from work to take part in a Canadian Armed Forces operation abroad for a period of up to 18 months. An operation abroad includes:

  • preparation
  • training
  • rest
  • travel from their place of residence and back

In Canada

A reservist may be absent from work to take part in a Canadian Armed Forces operation in Canada in order to:

  • provide assistance in the event of a major disaster within the meaning of the Loi sur la sécurité civile
  • assist the civil authority at the request of the Attorney General of Québec pursuant to the National Defence Act
  • intervene in any other emergency situation designated by the Government

In Canada or abroad

A reservist may be absent from work to take part in any other Canadian Armed Forces operation under the circumstances, the conditions and for the period prescribed by regulation.

Annual training

A reservist may be absent from work to take part in annual training with the Canadian Armed Forces for a period of up to 15 days (or any other period prescribed by regulation).

Exceptions

A reservist does not have the right to be absent from work in the following situations:

  • if there is a danger to the life, health or safety of other workers or the population
  • if there is a risk of destruction or serious deterioration of buildings or movable property, or in a case of force majeure
  • if their absence is contrary to their professional code of ethics

Notice to the employer

The reservist must notify their employer in writing at least 4 weeks in advance. They must indicate the date on which their absence is to begin, the reason for it and its duration. The notice period may be shorter only if there is serious cause such as an emergency situation, in which case the employer must be notified as soon as possible.

The reservist must provide a document justifying their absence if requested by their employer.

Return to work

The reservist may return to work earlier than the scheduled date. They must notify their employer in writing of the new return-to-work date at least 3 weeks in advance.

A reservist who has been absent for more than 12 weeks cannot be absent again for Canadian Army operations or training until 12 months from the date of their return to work.

When the reservist returns to work, they must be reinstated in their regular position and receive the salary and benefits they would have been entitled to had they remained at work. If their position was abolished during their absence, the person retains the same rights as if they had worked. These provisions must not give the reservist a benefit they would not have received had they remained at work.

Vacation

A Canadian Armed Forces reservist may ask their employer to defer their annual vacation if, at the end of the year in which the vacation should have been taken, they are absent to take part in:

  • a Canadian Armed Forces operation abroad
  • a Canadian Armed Forces operation in Canada
  • annual training
  • any other Canadian Armed Forces operations

Laws and regulations

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