Sick Leave and Leaves of Absence for Unit 2 Members

Brad WalchukUncategorized

With the return to campus, we know that you are worried about your own safety, the safety of your families (and looking after them if needed), and the safety of your students. Public health guidelines are still recommending quarantining, which is an important way to help curb the transmission of COVID-19. But what does this mean from an employment perspective? What if you need to isolate? What if you or a loved one is sick? Look no further than your Collective Agreement.

Your Collective Agreement provides you with access to general leave, without loss of pay, under Article 18.01(a). The specific language reads:

18.01 (a)(i) In the event that an employee requires an unplanned leave it is the responsibility of the employee to both advise their Supervisor and to make up for any missed class and lost time that was missed. When making up the class(es) is a practical impossibility, an alternate arrangement, approved by the Supervisor, will be made. An unplanned leave is without loss of pay, subject to Articles 18.01 (b), (c), (d) and (e). Unplanned leaves may include, but are not limited to; sickness leave; bereavement leave; court leave; jury leave; family responsibility leave; domestic violence leave, and any exigent circumstances preventing access to classrooms. 

 (ii) If requested, an employee must provide medical documentation supporting the absence to their employment supervisor that includes confirmation of an in-person assessment by a physician; workplace restrictions, if any; and a return to work or reassessment date. Where the requested medical documentation includes the foregoing information, the Employer will, to a maximum of $50.00, reimburse the Employee 50% of the cost of the first medical documentation requested for each period of absence due to personal illness or injury regardless of length.  

Article 18.01(d) provides you with access to paid family responsibility leave. It states:

An employee who requires leave to attend to the emergency health needs of a member of their immediate family is entitled to leave up to a maximum of 1 calendar week without loss of pay provided the employee promptly contacts their Supervisor to make arrangements to make up the missed class(es) and lost time. When making up the class(es) is a practical impossibility, an alternate arrangement, approved by the Supervisor, will be made. Please see Article 3 for the definition of “immediate family”. 

You are also entitled to paid family medical leave under Article 18.01(e), which reads:

An employee may take a leave of absence, without pay, to provide care or support to a seriously ill family member. Such leave shall be taken in accordance with the provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and arranged with their Supervisor. i. An employee will be entitled to Supplementary Compassionate Care Benefits for up to 8 weeks. 

For each week of leave up to the 8th week, inclusive, the University will pay 95% of regular salary, less the maximum amount of weekly pay any individual is eligible to receive in accordance with the EIA (the “EI Max”), regardless of whether or not such amount is actually received by the employee. If the employee provides proof that their EIA entitlement is less than the EI Max, their weekly payment from the University will be 95% of regular salary less the amount of their EIA entitlement  

Please note that under the ESA, family medical leave may be taken to provide care or support to certain family members and people who consider the employee to be like a family member in respect of whom a qualified health practitioner has issued a certificate indicating that they have a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death occurring within a period of 26 weeks.

Your Collective Agreement also provides access to various other leaves (generally with pay), including planned leave, pregnancy and parental leave, and bereavement leave.

While certainly hope that none of these are needed, please be aware of them if you do need to use them, and know that we are here to support and advocate for you should there be an issue arising from needing to access any of the leaves.