General Illness Leave

This directive describes employee entitlements and administration requirements for general illness leave taken by managers and opted out or excluded employees.

Entitlements for bargaining unit employees are contained in the Collective Agreement.

General illness means any sickness, disability, injury (other than self-inflicted), or quarantine restriction that causes an employee to be absent from work for more than three consecutive work days to a maximum of 80 work days.

Year of employment means each consecutive period of 12 months from the date an employee last started work, including continuous wage service.

Month means the period of time between the same dates in two successive calendar months.

Work day means any day on which employees are expected to be on duty.

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Entitlements

Employees are entitled to general illness leave in each year of employment, subject to deputy head approval, as set out in the following table.

Table: Employee Service and General Leave Entitlement

  Number of work days of leave at:
Up to 1 month
10
--
70
2 to 12 months
--
10
70
2nd year
--
15
65
3rd year
--
25
55
4th year
--
35
45
5th year
--
45
35
6th and subsequent years
--
60
20

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Recognition of Prior Service

Employees who have prior service as former employees will not have that service recognized in establishing their level of general illness entitlement, unless they are appointed during their vesting period because their position was abolished, or unless their prior service is recognized under the directive Recognition of Prior Service.

A representative of the Ministry will contact any employee eligible for general illness who has been absent for 10 or more consecutive work days due to an injury or illness.   The employee will be provided information on and invited to participate in the voluntary Employee Support and Recovery Assistance Program (ESRA).   An employee may also request participation in the ESRA program at any time during their absence for general illness.

If the employee’s illness lasts longer than 80 work days, the employee may be eligible to receive benefits under the Long Term Disability Income Continuance Plan Regulation.

An employee is not eligible to receive general illness benefits if:

  • the employee is absent because of an injury that is covered by workers’ compensation and the employee qualifies for benefits

  • the employee was injured while working for another employer

  • the employee has subsequent absences as a result of these injuries

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Administration

Once an employee’s absence qualifies for general illness leave, the employee may take the balance of the employee’s entitlement on an hourly equivalent basis if the illness will result in ongoing periods of absences or treatments mixed with periods when the employee can return to work—for example, if the employee was being treated for cancer.

General illness leave of less than 80 days is reinstated for future use at 70 percent upon the employee’s return to work if the employee returns to work in the same year of employment. If the employee returns to work in the next year of employment, the employee’s entitlements are reinstated according to the entitlement schedule.  Reinstatement shall only occur where the employee has not taken any general illness leave for the same or related illness during the first ten consecutive work days following the date of return to active work.

A manager’s general illness leave benefits are reinstated the day the manager returns to work.

An opted out or excluded employee’s general illness leave benefits are effective after ten consecutive work days without an absence for the same or related illness.

When a paid holiday falls during a period of general illness, it will be paid as a day of general illness. An employee will not receive additional compensation for the paid holiday.

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Proof of Illness

Any employee may be requested to provide a medical certificate for any period of general illness the employee takes. An opted out or excluded employee will be required to provide a medical certificate for any period of general illness lasting 20 work days or more.

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About this Directive

Authority:   Public Service Employment Regulation
Application:   Organizations Under the Public Service Act
Effective Date:   1 October 1999
Contact:   Labour Relations

For inquiries regarding your specific entitlements as displayed in MyAGent, please contact the payroll office servicing your Ministry.

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