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Ontario Proposes “Family Caregiver Leave”

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On December 8th, the Ontario Government introduced Bill 30, an amendment to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 which, if passed, will create a new Family Caregiver Leave as of July 1, 2012. The purpose of the leave is to give caregivers up to 8 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a relative who is suffering from a “serious condition”. This is in addition to other leaves such as Family Medical Leave (which applies when a relative is terminally ill) and Emergency Leave (which provides for one-off absences to deal with sickness and other emergencies). The provincial government has indicated that if the Bill passes into law, it will press the federal government to approve EI benefits for employees who are required to take Family Caregiver Leave.