Policy Statement

The City of Toronto provides an unpaid leave of up to 37 weeks to provide care or support to a critically ill child in accordance with the Employment Standards Act.


Ontario Bill 21, the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Leaves to Help Families), 2014, amended the Employment Standards Act, 2000 in respect of family caregiver, critically ill child care and crime-related child death or disappearance leaves of absence.


This policy applies to all employees of the City of Toronto including political staff working in the offices of Members of Council, who have been employed by the City for at least six consecutive months.



A child, step-child, foster child or child under the legal guardianship of an employee, who is under the age of 18.

Qualified Health Practitioner

A qualified physician, registered nurse or psychologist, licensed to practice in Ontario.


A written note is required from a qualified health professional stating that the child is critically ill and requires the care or support of one or more parents for a specified period of time. The note must be provided to the employee’s Division Head or designate as soon as reasonably possible.

An employee may take a leave of absence of up to 37 aggregate weeks. This leave is to be taken in full week increments. The weeks on leave do not need to be consecutive, but they must be taken within 52 weeks of the beginning of the first week of leave.

If more than one child of the employee is critically ill as a result of the same incident, the employee is not entitled to take a leave longer than specified in the medical certificate.

If both parents of the child are employed by the City, the combined leaves can not exceed 37 weeks.


This leave comes into effect on October 29, 2014.

Employees shall advise their Division Head (or designate) of their request for this leave in writing indicating which weeks they plan to take as leave without pay. Division Heads (or designate) can not deny a request for this leave if all conditions have been met.

Salary & Benefits

Salary increases that an employee would be eligible for had they been actively working during the leave will be applied to their base salary upon their return to work.

Basic benefits coverage (health, dental, group life insurance, STD and LTD) continue during this leave.

Benefit coverage for part-time employees continues on a pro-rated basis.

Employees are responsible for premiums that they would normally pay for benefits that are not covered by the basic plan, for example additional coverage for group life insurance.


If employees want to maintain pension service credits they must pay their pension contributions for the duration of the leave. The city will match these contributions.

Related Documents

Employment Standards Act, 2000,C41, s 49.4

Approved by

Executive Director Human Resources

Date Approved

October 6, 2014

Update Pending

This policy is being reviewed and will be updated in accordance with changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000. Questions related to this policy as a result of these changes can be emailed to hrpolicy@toronto.ca