About this directive

HR Directive No. 02/2023
Reference to applicable legislation (act or regulation): Sections 67 to 70, Public Service Employment Regulation (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Application: All employees appointed or employed pursuant to the Public Service Act, with the exception of wage employees.

Note: employees who are members of the bargaining unit are subject to the terms of the Collective Agreement. Any terms, conditions, or entitlements related to Casual Illness addressed in the Collective Agreement supersede this Directive.

Last updated: March 2023
Last reviewed: March 2023
Amended by: Labour Relations Policy and Programs, Labour Relations Policy and Programs Branch, Policy and Negotiations


The intent of this directive is to ensure consistency in the administration of casual illness leave provisions for illness or medical appointments.


This directive describes employee entitlements and administrative requirements for casual illness leave taken by position exempt, opted out and excluded, and management.

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

Definition of terms

Disclaimer: If there are any discrepancies in how the terms are defined below and the Public Service Act and Public Service Employment Regulation (PDF, 1.1 MB), the act and regulation supersede.

Casual illness: a sickness, injury, or disability that causes an employee to be absent from work for 3 consecutive work days or less. This includes a medical, optical, dental, or physiotherapy appointment.

Deputy head: Chief officer of a department, as well as various positions including clerks, officers, and commissioners as prescribed in section 1(d) and section 1(d)(viii)(B) of the Public Service Act.

Half day: the scheduled number of hours in an employees’ work day, divided by 2.

Management: Employees appointed to a position in the Management Job Evaluation Plan, and paid in accordance with Schedule 2, Management Official Pay Plan, as included in the Public Service Employment Regulation.

Minor illness: an absence due to illness where the employee has worked at least the first continuous hour in the half day.

Opted out and excluded: Employees in a classification not included in the bargaining unit, who are appointed to a position in the Point Rating Evaluation Plan, and paid in accordance with Schedule 1, Part 1-A, Part 2-A and Part 2-B of the Opted Out and Excluded Official Pay Plan in the Public Service Employment Regulation.

Position exempt: Employees in a bargaining unit classification who are excluded from the union in accordance with Part 3, Division 3, Section 12 of the Public Service Employee Relations Act.

Work day: any day on which employees are expected to be at their place of employment.

Year of employment: each consecutive period of 12 months from the date an employee last started work.


Full-time employees are entitled to casual illness leave of up to 10 work days in any one year of employment, subject to deputy head approval. One year of employment is calculated from the most recent commencement date with the Government of Alberta. Should the employee require additional casual illness days, that do not meet the requirements for general illness, those days will be unpaid.

Part-time employees will receive a prorated entitlement which is calculated as a percentage of the full-time equivalent (FTE).

Employees are not eligible to receive casual illness benefits if they:

  • are absent because of an injury that is covered by workers' compensation and they qualify for benefits
  • were injured while working on the job for another employer
  • have subsequent absences as a result of an injury that qualify for workers compensation benefits


Employees will report the actual hours absent in a work day if they are sick, or attending a dental, physiotherapy, optical, or medical appointment. Employees must get prior authorization to attend appointments and attempt to schedule such appointments when they least interfere with operations.

Minor illness

If employees become ill at work after working at least the first hour of their half day, they will be paid for the remaining hours in the half day as minor illness. The hour worked must be continuous.

If employees become ill at work after working the first hour in their half day, and then misses the second half of their working day, the hours missed in the second half of the day will be deducted from the employee’s casual illness entitlement, but the morning hours will be coded as minor illness paid.

If an employee does not work the required first hour of their half day, the time absent will be deducted from the employees casual illness entitlement.


If employees are given prior authorization to be absent for less than the half day to attend a medical appointment and have worked at least one continuous hour in the half day, they will be paid for the half day. The absence will be reported as a medical appointment and no deduction will be made from their casual illness entitlement. If the employee will be absent for more than a half day or has not worked the 1 continuous hour in the half day, the total number of hours absent in the day, will be deducted from the employee’s casual illness entitlement.

Proof of illness

Employees may be required at the employer’s request to produce a proper medical certificate or other satisfactory proof of illness for any period of casual illness or minor illness leave they take. Employees may be required to provide proof of attendance at a medical appointment.

Where an employee must pay a fee for a proper medical certificate or other satisfactory proof of illness, the Employer shall reimburse the employee to a maximum of $50 per required satisfactory medical certificate.

While balancing an employee’s right to privacy, a proper medical certificate or other satisfactory proof of illness should generally include:

  • a certification by a licensed physician, psychiatrist or midwife that the employee is unable to attend work for medical reasons
  • the dates on which the employee is unable to attend work due to the medical reason
  • if the illness is continuing, the employee’s prognosis and estimate as to the earliest date the employee is expected to return to work and/or next medical assessment date

In rare circumstances as it relates to casual illness, an employee may be required to produce a medical certificate that also includes but is not limited to:

  • if the employee can return to work but with some restrictions or limitations, a statement of those restrictions or limitations
  • whether the illness is anticipated to be temporary, chronic or permanent
  • whether the employee is under a treatment plan

Was this page helpful?

Your submissions are monitored by our web team and are used to help improve the experience on Alberta.ca.