Overview

This directive describes types of job-protected leaves from work provided to managers, opted out and excluded employees under the Employment Standards Code and how the leaves are administered.

Eligibility

An employee is eligible for the following leaves without pay if the employee has been employed with the GoA at least 90 days:

  • bereavement – up to 3 days per calendar year
  • citizenship ceremony – up to a half-day, upon acquiring Canadian citizenship
  • compassionate care – up to 27 weeks to care for a seriously ill family member
  • critical illness of a child – up to 36 weeks
  • critical illness of an adult family member – up to 16 weeks
  • death or disappearance of a child – up to 52 weeks if an employee’s child disappeared, or up to 104 weeks if an employee’s child died, as a result of a crime
  • domestic violence – up to 10 days per calendar year
  • personal and family responsibility – up to 5 days per calendar year

If an employee has taken leave with pay for the above reasons under Special LeaveCasual Illness Leave or General Illness Leave, the employee may not be entitled to any additional leave without pay for the same reasons.

Bereavement leave

Employees may be eligible for up to 10 days of paid Special Leave for bereavement.

Under the Employment Standards Code, an employee is entitled to bereavement leave of up to 3 days per calendar year after the death of an immediate or extended family member. All of the following are considered family members:

  • Spouse, adult interdependent partner or common-law partner
  • Children (and their partner/spouse)
  • Current or former foster children (and their partner/spouse)
  • Current or former wards
  • Parents, step-parents and/or current or former guardians (and their partner/spouse)
  • Current or former foster parents
  • Siblings, half-siblings, step-siblings (and their partner/spouse)
  • Grandchildren, step-grandchildren (and their partner/spouse)
  • Grandparents, step-grandparents
  • Aunts, uncles, step-aunts, step-uncles (and their partner/spouse)
  • Nieces, nephews (and their partner/spouse)
  • A person the employee isn’t related to but considers to be like a close relative
  • The employee’s partner/spouse’s:
    • Children (and their partner/spouse)
    • Current or former wards
    • Parents, step-parents, foster parents
    • Sibling, half-sibling, step-sibling
    • Grandparents
    • Grandchildren
    • Aunts, uncles
    • Nieces, nephews

Citizenship ceremony leave

Eligible employees may take up to a half-day of unpaid leave to attend their citizenship ceremony.

Employees attending their citizenship ceremonies may also be eligible to take paid Special Leave for personal reasons.

Compassionate care leave

An employee may take up to 27 weeks of leave to care for a seriously ill family member. The definition of family member for compassionate care leave is the same as for bereavement leave.

The employee must:

  • provide a medical certificate stating that the family member has a serious medical condition, is at significant risk of dying within 26 weeks and needs the support of one or more family members
  • if possible, provide 2 weeks’ notice before the start date of the leave, including the estimated date of the employee’s return to work
  • provide at least one week’s written notice to return to work

Critical illness of a family member

An employee may take up to 36 weeks for the critical illness of a child or up to 16 weeks for the critical illness of an adult family member. Critical illness leave may be taken in more than one period, but each period must be at least one week long.

The employee must:

  • prior to starting the leave or as soon as reasonably possible, provide a medical certificate issued by a physician or nurse practitioner specifying:
    • that the child or adult is critically ill and requires the care or support of one or more family members
    • the start date of the period when care or support is needed
    • the end date of the period during which the family member requires care or support
    • the date the leave began, if the leave started before the certificate was issued
  • if possible, provide 2 weeks’ notice before the start date of the leave, including the estimated date of the employee’s return to work
  • provide at least one week’s written notice to return to work

If the family member is still critically ill and requiring care after the leave is completed, the employee may request the leave again.  However, a new medical certificate must be provided.

If more than one family member of the same critically ill family member is employed in the APS, the leave will be granted for only one of the employees at a time.

Death or disappearance of a child

An employee may take up to 52 weeks if the employee’s child disappeared, or up to 104 weeks if the child died, as a result of a probable Criminal Code offence.

The employee must:

  • provide verification of the employee’s entitlement to the leave as soon as is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances
  • provide written notice as soon as is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances, which must include the estimated date of the employee’s return to work
  • provide notice of any change to the estimated date of the employee’s return to work
  • provide at least one week’s written notice to return to work

Domestic violence

Employees may be eligible for up to 5 days of paid Special Leave for domestic violence reasons.

If an employee, the employee’s dependent child or a protected adult who lives with the employee is a victim of domestic violence, the employee is eligible for up to 10 days of leave in a calendar year.

An employee may take domestic violence leave for the following purposes:

  • to allow the employee, employee’s dependent child or the protected adult to seek medical attention for physical or psychological injury caused by domestic violence
  • to obtain services from a victim services organization
  • to allow the employee, employee’s dependent child or the protected adult to obtain psychological or other professional counselling
  • to relocate (temporarily or permanently)
  • to seek legal or law enforcement assistance, including time relating to legal proceedings

An employee must give notice as soon as is reasonable before taking the leave.

Personal and family responsibility

Employees are entitled to paid Casual Illness and General Illness leaves.

Employees are also entitled to up to 10 days of paid Special Leave for family illness.

Under the Employment Standards Code, an employee is entitled to leave without pay of up to 5 days per calendar year for health issues or family responsibilities. For the purpose of Personal and Family Responsibility leave, a family member is:

  • Partner (spouse, adult interdependent or common-law)
  • Parents, foster parents, guardians
  • Children, foster children, wards, partner’s children
  • Siblings
  • Grandchildren
  • Grandparents
  • Any other person living with the employee as a member of their family

About this directive

Authority: Public Service Employment Regulation (PDF, 880 KB)
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