May 8, 2014

A host of legal issues can arise when an employee wishes to take a job-protected leave, including questions regarding entitlement, notice requirements, benefit and seniority accrual during a leave, whether an employee can be terminated during a leave, and how best to facilitate a return to work. In this session, a panel of Lancaster’s experts will discuss these and other questions relating to job-protected leaves.

  • Job-protected leaves across Canada: What kinds of job-protected leaves, and how much leave, are employees entitled to in various jurisdictions across Canada? Can a leave be split into multiple absences from work, or must it be taken as one continuous period of leave? How do employment standards regulations intersect with leave provisions in a collective agreement? What impact will legislation, which aims to expand the number of job-protected leaves, have on employer obligations?
  • Benefits and leave: Is an employer required to continue to contribute to an employee’s benefit plan while he or she is on a job-protected leave? Does an employee continue to accrue seniority during this time? Is it discriminatory for an employer to fail to consider an employee for promotion opportunities that arise while the employee is on leave?
  • Termination: Is it permissible under human rights legislation for an employer to terminate the employment of an employee on a job-protected leave? Upon return from leave? If a unionized employee is told while on leave that his or her position is being terminated, will the period of time left in the employee’s leave count towards the reasonable notice period? Can an employer terminate the employment of a fixed-term contract employee prior to the end of his or her leave if the contract has expired?
  • Facilitating a return to work: What challenges arise upon employees’ return to work from a lengthy absence? Should returning employees be offered training upon their return? What medical information must employees disclose upon returning to work? How can unions facilitate an employee’s transition back to work in a timely fashion without undue delay?