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CAUT Bulletin Archives

March 2016

Changes to compassionate care leave & benefits

In the spring of 2015, the federal Conservative government introduced legislation to expand both the maximum payable weeks of compassionate care benefits under EI and the maximum number of weeks of compassionate care leave without pay available under the Canada Labour Code (Part III).

The legislative means for making the changes to compassionate care were introduced by the Conservative government through the 2015 Budget Implementation Act (Bill C-59), in Division 4 Part 3. The Bill amended both the Canada Labour Code (Part III) and the Employment Insurance Act and significantly expanded compassionate care leave and benefits.

The amendment to the Canada Labour Code increased the maximum duration of compassionate care leave from the current eight weeks to 28 weeks and extended the current 26-week period within which the leave can be taken to 52 weeks.

Bill C-59 also amended the Employment Insurance Act to increase the maximum number of weeks of benefit entitlement for Employment Insurance compassionate care benefits to 26 weeks (from six weeks) and to extend to 52 weeks the period within which these benefits may be paid.

As per provisions in Bill C-59, these new measures came into force on Jan. 3, 2016.