General illness leave directive

This directive covers general illness leave available to Alberta Public Service managers, and opted out and excluded employees.


​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 ​Collect​ive Agreement.

  • "General illness" means any sickness, disability, injury or quarantine restriction that causes an employee to be absent from work for more than three (3) consecutive work days to a maximum of eighty (80) work days.
  • "Year of employment" means each consecutive period of twelve (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 (2) successive calendar months.
  • "Work day" means any day on which employees are expected to be on duty.


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

Employee Service0% of Salary100% of Salary70% of Salary
Up to 1 month10--70
2 to 12 months--1070
2nd year--1565
3rd year--2555
4th year--3545
5th year--4535
6th and subsequent years--6020

An employee may voluntarily request participation in the Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP​) at any time during their absence for general illness.

If the employee's illness lasts longer than eighty (80) work days, the employee may be eligible to receive benefits under the Long Term Dis​ability In​come 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


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 eighty (80) days is reinstated for future use at 70% 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.

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 (10) consecutive work days without an absence for the same or related illness. Reinstatement shall only occur where the employee has not taken any general illness leave for the same or related illness during the first ten (10) consecutive days following the date of return to active work.

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.

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 twenty (20) work days or more.

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 fifty dollars ($50.00).

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

Where appropriate, medical certificates should also generally include:

  • 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

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.

About this directive

Authority:Public Service Employment Regulation
Application:Organizations under the Public Service Act
Effective Date:March 5, 2019
Contact:Alberta Public Service Commission:
Labour and Employment Practices; Labour and Employment Policy