Policy Statement

The City of Toronto provides an unpaid leave of up to eight weeks for employees to provide care or support to a family member with a serious medical condition in accordance with the Employment Standards Act.


Ontario Bill 21, “Leaves to Help Families”, 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.


Family Member

  • The employee’s spouse.
  • A parent, step-parent or foster parent of the employee or the employee’s spouse.
  • A child, step-child or foster child of the employee or the employee’s spouse.
  • A grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee or the employee’s spouse.
  • The spouse of a child of the employee.
  • The employee’s brother or sister.
  • A relative of the employee who is dependent on the employee for care or assistance.

Qualified Health Practitioner

A qualified physician, registered nurse or psychologist, licensed to practice in Ontario, or the jurisdiction where treatment is being provided.


A certificate is required from a qualified health professional stating that the family member has a serious medical condition. The certificate is to be provided to the employee’s Manager or Supervisor as soon as possible.

An employee may take a leave of absence of up to eight weeks per family member in each calendar year (January 1 – December 31). The eight (8) weeks of the leave do not have to be taken consecutively, but an employee may only take a leave in periods of entire weeks.

A week refers to seven consecutive days beginning on Sunday and ending on Saturday.


The employee will notify their Manager or Supervisor of their request for this leave of absence.

The employee or their manager can complete the Absence notification in SuccessFactors in the Time Off tile.

Salary and 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 will continue on a pro-rated basis.

Employees are responsible for any 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 49.3

Approved by

Chief People Officer

Date Approved

October 6, 2014

Last Updated

October 15, 2020