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Compassionate care leave begins February 1

Albertans can take up to eight weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave from work to care for a gravely ill family member. 

Employees taking compassionate care leave can return to the same or similar position, just like new mothers after maternity leave or armed forces reservists when they return from duty.

“No one’s job should be in jeopardy when they take time off work to care for a loved one. Compassionate care leave supports families when they’re at their most vulnerable.”

- Thomas Lukaszuk, Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour

“I’m pleased to see compassionate care available in Alberta. Having job security will reduce stress for people who are dealing with an incredibly difficult time in their lives.”

- Matt Jeneroux, MLA, Edmonton-South West

"Protecting the jobs of family caregivers ensures Albertans can be there to provide invaluable support to loved ones living with cancer or another serious disease."

- Dan Holinda, Executive Director, Canadian Cancer Society, Alberta/NWT Division

Quick facts on compassionate care leave

  • Employees must have worked at least 52 weeks for their employer to be eligible for compassionate care leave.
  • Employees must provide their employer with a certificate signed by the attending physician regarding the grave condition of the family member and his or her need for care.
  • The eight-week leave may be split into two sections and must be taken within a 26-week period.
  • Six weeks of Employment Insurance benefits are available to some employees for compassionate care.

Provisions for compassionate care leave within Alberta’s Employment Standards Code were brought about by the passage of Bill 203, which was brought forward by Matt Jeneroux, MLA for Edmonton-South West.

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.

Related information

Employment Standards Code

Employment Standards Regulation

Employment Insurance information


Alberta seniors

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