Family Medical Leave – Q & A
Questions from Employees
What is Family Medical Leave?
Family Medical Leave is unpaid, job-protected leave of up to twenty eight (28) weeks in a 26-week period. It may be taken to provide care and support to a specified family member (listed in the policy) for whom a qualified health practitioner has issued a certificate indicating that the family member has a serious medical condition and there is a significant risk of death occurring within a period of 26 weeks.
What do I have to do to request a Family Medical Leave?
Submit a written request to your manager or supervisor, stating your wish to take a Family Medical Leave, or submit a request through the Time Off module in SuccessFactors.
- the duration of the requested leave
- the scheduling you are requesting e.g. twenty eight weeks together; or individual weeks taken in weekly segments
- whether or not you are the only family member taking the leave and if you are sharing it how many weeks you are taking i.e. less than twenty eight weeks
- when you wish to start your leave and the date when you expect to return to work.
Does this leave apply to me if I am a part-time, or temporary employee?
All employees, whether full-time or part-time, permanent, temporary or contract, are entitled to Family Medical Leave.
How much leave am I entitled to if I share it with other members of my family?
The twenty eight (28) weeks of a Family Medical Leave may be shared by all employed family members who take a Family Medical Leave to provide care and support to a specific family member. For example, if one spouse takes ten (10) weeks of Family Medical Leave to care for his or her child, the other spouse can take only eighteen weeks of Family Medical Leave.
How will my benefits be affected if I take this leave?
The City continues your basic benefits coverage (health, dental, group life insurance, STD and LTD) for the duration of the leave for a maximum of twenty eight weeks. Coverage of benefits for part-time employees continues on a pro-rated basis. If you normally pay premiums for benefits that are not covered by the basic plan, for example additional coverage for group life insurance you are still responsible for paying those premiums during the leave.
If you want to maintain pension service credits you must pay your pension contributions for the duration of the leave. The City will match these contributions.
How will my sick time, vacation, service and seniority be affected if I take this leave?
You earn vacation credits during the leave. If you accumulate sick leave credits, you continue to earn these credits during the period of leave. You accumulate full service and seniority during the leave, however Family Medical Leave days are not counted towards the completion of the probationary period.
How does this leave impact on Ill Dependent Leave?
If you are entitled to Ill Dependent Leave you may wish to access that leave before family medical leave, as ill dependent leave is paid leave. You do not have to use ill dependent leave before applying for Family Medical Leave. You may wish to use it for other instances or family members.
Am I paid for statutory holidays if they occur when I am on leave?
Statutory holidays are treated in the same way as in other unpaid leaves. If a statutory holiday occurs during your leave you are not paid for that holiday.
What do I do if I want an extension of Family Medical Leave i.e. more than twenty eight weeks?
You submit a request to your supervisor stating how much time you are requesting. Note that a request for leave beyond twenty eight weeks is at the discretion of your Division. If the extended leave is granted you may take that time as vacation, Voluntary Leave, Leave without Pay or personal leave provisions if they are in your collective agreement. The benefits you receive during an extended leave depend on the conditions specified by the type of leave you take e.g. if you take Voluntary Leave, benefits are included; if Leave without Pay, benefits are not included.
Can I apply for a subsequent Family Medical Leave if I have already taken such a leave at an earlier time?
If you have taken a Family Medical Leave and your family member did not die within the designated 26 weeks, you may take another leave at a later time if you are facing a similar situation or if another family member is at risk of dying. Every time you take a new Family Medical Leave, you need a new medical certificate.
As this leave is unpaid do I have the option of receiving no pay during the leave or pro-rating payments over a number of pay periods within the calendar year?
There is only one option for this leave and that is to receive no pay during periods that you are away from work on Family Medical Leave.
Questions from Supervisors and Managers
How should I proceed when an employee requests Family Medical Leave?
Family Medical Leave is part of the Employment Standards Act and all employers are required to approve requests for these leaves, subject to the conditions set out in the Family Medical Leave policy.
What documentation should I require from the employee?
You are responsible for ensuring that the appropriate paperwork is completed for an employee to take the leave and be eligible for EI benefits.
You need to request the employee to provide a copy of the certificate from the qualified health professional.
How do I record employees’ attendance when they are on Family Medical Leave?
Indicate on your attendance report that the employee is absent from work with permission for a Family Medical Leave and include the return date.
What do I do if an employee requests an extension of Family Medical Leave i.e. beyond twenty eight weeks?
During the leave, an employee may request additional leave. A request for leave beyond twenty eight weeks is at divisional discretion. If you approve an extended leave it can be covered by vacation, Voluntary Leave, Leave without Pay as well as personal leave provisions contained in the applicable collective agreements.
Note that employees are eligible for different leave provisions depending on their bargaining unit or non-union status.
The benefits an employee receives during an extended leave depends on the conditions specified by the type of leave taken e.g. Voluntary Leave includes benefits; benefits are not included in a Leave without Pay.
What do I do if an employee applies for a Family Medical Leave and has previously had such a leave?
The employee may have taken a Family Medical Leave and his/her family member did not die within the designated 26 weeks. That employee is entitled to another Family Medical Leave if he/she is facing a similar situation with the same family member or if another family member is at risk of dying. Employees are required to get a separate medical certificate for every occurrence of Family Medical Leave.
If the employee’s family member dies during this leave does bereavement leave overlap?
When an employee is on Family Medical Leave the leave ends on the last day of the week in which the family member dies.
What important information should I be giving to my employees when they ask me about this leave?
Employees are entitled to twenty eight weeks of Family Medical Leave.
Executive Management Team
November 8, 2004
January 20, 2020