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Job-Protected Unpaid Leave Policy

Policy Statement

Job-protected, unpaid leave may be available to employees who are a parent of a child who is critically ill or has disappeared or died as the probable result of a crime.   

Application

This policy applies to all employees. Bargaining unit employees should also consult their respective collective agreement and the provisions of the collective agreement shall prevail.

Definitions

Child:
Children and step-children who are under 18 years of age.

Crime:
An offense under the Criminal Code.

Work Week:
The standard work week is normally either 35 hours, 37.5 hours, 40 hours or as defined by the employer.

Roles and Accountabilities

Departments

It is the responsibility of departments to manage unpaid leave such that it does not unduly interfere with operational requirements.

It is the responsibility of Deputy Ministers to approve applications for unpaid leave under this policy. 

Human Resource Secretariat

Human Resource Policy and Planning Division

It is the responsibility of the Human Resource Policy and Planning Division to:

  • review and revise this policy as appropriate; and
  • provide policy interpretations and advice to Strategic Human Resource Management Divisions and Departments when required.

Strategic Human Resource Management Divisions

It is the responsibility of Strategic Human Resource Management Divisions to:

  • maintain complete records of any unpaid leave in the employee's personal file;
  • provide information and guidance to their respective employees and departments on unpaid leave related issues; and
  • facilitate processing of unpaid leave and related issues and forwarding documentation to the Compensation and Benefits Division for inclusion in the employee's personal file.

Employees

It is the responsibility of employees to:

  • provide any certificates or other documentation as deemed necessary by the employer;
  • submit a written request to the Deputy Minister for a period of unpaid leave;
  • provide 30 days written notice for any changes to the leave period; and
  • consult with Service Canada on their eligibility for Employment Insurance benefits.

Managers

It is the responsibility of managers to administer the provisions of this policy in consultation with their respective Strategic Human Resource Management Division.

Eligibility Criteria

Critically Ill Child Care Leave  

An employee who is the parent of a critically ill child may be eligible for job-protected, unpaid leave of up to 37 weeks to provide care and support.  Employees must make written application to the Deputy Minister and provide medical documentation from a physician indicating that the child is critically ill and requires the care and support of the employee for a specified period of time.   

Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance Leave

An employee who is the parent of a child who has disappeared as the probable result of a crime may be eligible for unpaid leave of up to 52 weeks.

An employee who is the parent of a child who has died as the probable result of a crime may be eligible for unpaid leave of up to 104 weeks.

Employees must make written application to the Deputy Minister and provide reasonable verification of the necessity of the leave, including, where requested, such documentation as a death certificate, medical documentation, and other documentation as requested by the Deputy Minister.

An employee is not entitled to this unpaid leave if he/she has been charged with the crime necessitating the leave. 

Application and Approval Process

An employee who intends to take unpaid leave under this policy must make written application to his/her Deputy Minister for the requested period of job-protected, unpaid leave and provide not less than two weeks' written notice before the leave is intended to begin.  If satisfied that this notice requirement would be unreasonable in the circumstances, it may be waived or reduced at the discretion of the Deputy Minister.

The employee must include the length of unpaid leave that is requested. Employees may change the length of the leave, including returning to work early, by providing at least 30 days written notice to the employer prior to their return to work.  This period of notice may be waived or reduced at the discretion of the Deputy Minister.

Employee Protection and Benefits

Employees may take up to 20 days of unpaid leave in any fiscal year and maintain their full entitlement of annual leave, sick leave or paid leave credits.

Employees who use 21 or more days of unpaid leave in any fiscal year will have their annual leave, sick leave and/or paid leave entitlements reduced proportional to the total number of special leave without pay days taken in excess of 20 days.

Employees cannot accrue or use sick leave, annual leave, paid leave or any accumulated leave when on periods of unpaid leave in excess of 20 days. 

The leave period will not be considered a break in service.

Employees may purchase their leave periods for pension credits when they return to work.  Upon return to work, employees may have the leave period credited for pension purposes.  Employees who elect in writing, within 90 days, may purchase the period of leave by paying contributions that would have been paid had the employee not gone on leave. The employer will match this amount.  Employees who elect to purchase pension credits after 90 days will be required to pay the full actuarial cost of the service.

Upon return from unpaid leave, employees will not lose any benefits that had accrued at the commencement of the period of unpaid leave.

Employees on unpaid leave for periods of 5 days or less will receive payment for any holiday that occurs during that period of unpaid leave.

Last Policy Update: March 30, 2015

 
Last Updated:
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