Crime-related child disappearance leave
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 disappearance of a child.
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 disappearance leave if it is probable, considering the circumstances, that a child of the employee 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 disappearance leave
A leave for the crime-related disappearance of a child must be taken within the 105-week period that begins in the week the child disappeared.
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 disappeared as a result of a 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 their child, and the child is found within the 104-week period that begins in the week the child disappears, the employee is entitled to remain on leave for 14 days after the day the child is found, if the child is found alive.
If the child is found dead, the employee is entitled to remain on leave until the end of the week in which the child is found. However, the employee has a separate entitlement to child death leave of up to 104 weeks.
Sharing crime-related child 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 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 they will be taking a crime-related child disappearance leave and must provide the employer with a written plan that indicates the weeks in which they will take the leave.
If an employee has to begin such a leave before notifying the employer, they 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 their right to the leave.
Change in employee’s 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 meet the restrictions of the ESA and,
- the employee requests permission from the employer to do so in writing and the employer grants permission in writing;
- the employee provides the employer with four weeks written notice before the change takes place.
An employer may require an employee who takes a crime-related child disappearance leave to provide reasonable evidence of the employee’s entitlement to the leave.
Rights during and at the end of crime-related child disappearance leave
Employers do not have to pay wages when an employee is on a crime-related child disappearance leave.
Employees who take crime-related child 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 disappearance leave. See “Rights during pregnancy and parental leaves.”