Workplace Leaves and absences for non-union employees

Policy Category: 
Human Resources
Approved By: 
Vice-President Finance & Administration
Effective Date: 
January 1, 2008 [Revised 10 September 2009; 24 April 2012, September 2012]

 

It is a supervisor's responsibility to maintain records for employee attendance. Should employees absent themselves from the workplace due to an authorized leave, an appropriate Leave of Absence form must be completed and issued to the Office of Human Resources. Absences from the workplace for reasons other than leaves are maintained by the supervisor by way of the attendance report form and the overtime bank record form.

An employee shall provide a written request to their supervisor as soon as possible prior to the anticipated start date of a leave.

When an employee requests a leave, approval will not be unreasonably withheld and will take into consideration the operational needs of the area.

While on a leave of absence an employee may be entitled to maintain coverage under the University’s employee benefit plans, subject to the terms of those plans. Details on premium costs and benefits are available from the Office of Human Resources.

For guidance on paid leaves, please contact the Office of Human Resources for further information.

 

1 . Maternity/Parental/Adoption Leave:

 

1.1 Maternity Leave

 

An employee having completed a minimum of thirteen (13) weeks of full-time, continuous service will be granted a seventeen (17) week unpaid leave of absence for pregnancy. An employee electing to take maternity leave shall provide her supervisor with two (2) weeks’ notice in writing of the date the leave is to begin.
An employee (excluding contract employees) having completed a minimum of one (1) year of full-time, continuous service and who agrees to return to the University for one year following the maternity leave will be entitled to pregnancy leave benefits topped up to 95% of the employee’s regular salary for a seventeen (17) week period. In the event an employee does not fulfill the above obligation regarding return, she shall be obliged to repay the University for any supplemental monies received during the parental leave.

 

1.2 Parental Leave

 

An employee having completed a minimum of thirteen (13) weeks of full-time, continuous service who becomes a parent is entitled to a thirty-five (35) week unpaid leave following the birth of a child, or coming of a child into the parent’s custody, care and control for the first time. The employee shall provide his/her supervisor with two (2) weeks’ notice in writing of the day the leave is to begin. An employee (excluding contract employees) having completed a minimum of one (1) year of full-time, continuous service and who agrees to return to the University for one year following the parental leave will be entitled to parental leave benefits topped up to 95% of the employee’s regular salary for a twelve (12) week period. In the event an employee does not fulfill the above obligation regarding return, s/he shall be obliged to repay the University for any supplemental monies received during the maternity leave.

 

1.3 Adoption Leave

An employee having completed a minimum of one (1) year of full-time, continuous service is entitled to eight (8) weeks’ paid leave for adoptive parental care. This paid leave is granted on the understanding that the employee shall return to the University following the leave. Should both parents be employees of the University, only one of the two shall be entitled to such leave. Should the child be the natural child of one of the two parents and is adopted by the spouse of the natural parent, the spouse shall not be entitled to this leave.

 

2 . Jury and Court Witness Leave:

 

When an employee is called for jury duty or is compelled by subpoena to attend as a court witness (except in cases of personal litigation), s/he shall be granted a leave of absence with pay at his/her normal salary. However, the rate per day granted by the courts must be turned over to the Office of Human Resources for each day of such absence. The employee will be required to present proof of service and the amount of pay received.

The employee shall inform his/her supervisor as soon as possible after receiving notification of being called and supply the supervisor and the Office of Human Resources with a copy of the summons.

 

3 . Bereavement Leave:

 

In the event of death in the employee’s immediate family he/she shall be entitled to bereavement leave. Immediate family consists of:

a spouse or same-sex partner; a parent, step-parent, foster parent, child, stepchild, foster child, grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee, the employee's spouse or the employee's same-sex partner; the spouse or same-sex partner of an employee's child; mother in-law and father in-law; a brother or sister of the employee; and a relative of the employee who is dependent on the employee for care or assistance (in accordance with the Income Tax Act).

An employee on bereavement leave will not be required to attend work for a period of up to three (3) days and will suffer no reduction in pay, nor loss of Vacation, Sick Leave or Emergency Leave entitlement.

In cases of death outside of an employee’s immediate family, the relevant circumstances of each case will be reviewed by the employee’s supervisor and at his/her discretion, the employee may not be required to attend work for a period of up to three (3) days with no reduction in pay or loss of Vacation or Emergency Leave entitlement .

Should prolonged travel or other extenuating circumstances be involved, up to an additional two (2) days of bereavement leave may be granted by the employee’s supervisor.

An employee who is on any other form of approved leave (except Vacation Leave or Sick Leave), either paid or unpaid, is not eligible for Bereavement Leave.

In the event a death occurs in the employee’s immediate family while the employee is on Vacation or Sick Leave the following shall occur:

1. vacation or sick leave ceases as of date of death;

2. Bereavement Leave shall be applied as of date of death;

3. vacation or sick leave days unused as a result of the applied bereavement leave may be booked on dates mutually agreeable to the employee and supervisor.

 

4 . Sick Leave:

 

A full-time employee will accumulate sick leave credits (days) throughout their period of active employment. When an employee is absent due to illness/injury, available sick leave credits are applied during the period of absence. Sick leave credits are payable at the employee’s regular salary.

Employees within the classifications of Schedule I, Contract, Schedule II up to level 109 and up to Technician III/Technologist II accumulate sick leave credits at the rate of 1 ½ days for each month of continuous service to a maximum of 120 days.

Employees within the classifications of Schedule II, level 110 and above and Technician IV/Technologist III and above accumulate sick leave credits at the rate of one month for each year of continuous service to a maximum of 120 days.

When sick leave is claimed, the University reserves the right to require certification from a medical practitioner to substantiate the absence. Additionally, following a prolonged or serious illness, the University may require certification that an employee is medically fit before permitting him/her to return to regular duties. Failure to provide a medical certificate when requested may result in the time being taken without pay, or with a reduction in vacation entitlement and/or may be treated as a disciplinary offense. Cost of medical certificates are the responsibility of the employee.

Unused sick leave entitlement is not cashable at any time. When sick leave credits have been exhausted, earned vacation may be used. An employee may not use sick leave to absent themselves for any reason other than personal illness.

In the event an employee becomes ill while on Vacation Leave and verifies the illness with an appropriate medical certificate the following shall occur:

1. vacation leave ceases as of date of illness;

2. the sick days shall be applied according to the medical certificate;

3. vacation days unused as a result of the applied sick days may be booked on dates mutually agreeable to the employee and supervisor.

 

5 . Health Care Appointments:

 

The University recognizes the need for employees to attend health care appointments. These appointments should be arranged so as not to interfere with an employee’s normal working hours. If such arrangements are not possible, however, appointments should be scheduled toward the beginning or the end of the working day, so that a minimum of time will be spent away from the University.

If health care appointments must be made during working hours, the employee’s immediate supervisor should be notified several days in advance of the appointment if possible.

An employee will not be deducted pay to attend health care appointments. Employees will be expected to work the required hours to make up for lost time. Such time shall not be considered overtime. The employee may elect to use accumulated overtime to offset hours for attending health care appointments. However, where frequent visits occur or are required, the University may require an employee to take the time as sick leave, as a leave without pay, as vacation time or work alternative hours with the approval of their supervisor.

 

6 . Personal Time Off:

 

In unique circumstances a supervisor may grant employees personal time off, outside of attending health care appointments. In such cases employees will be expected to work the required hours to make up for lost time. Such time shall not be considered overtime. The employee may elect to use accumulated overtime to offset hours for personal time off.

Work Breaks: Work breaks are not considered personal time off in context of the above. It is understood that an employee shall be entitled to one work break in the morning for a duration not to exceed 15 minutes. Similarly an employee is entitled to one work break in the afternoon for a duration not to exceed 15 minutes. The employee’s supervisor shall determine the start time of work breaks within his/her area.

 

7 . Emergency Leave:

 

All employees are entitled to take up to ten (10) days of unpaid time off work each calendar year because of:

* personal illness, injury or medical emergency;
* death, illness, injury, medical emergency or other urgent matter relating to:

a spouse or same-sex partner; a parent, step-parent, foster parent, child, stepchild, foster child, grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild or step-grandchild of the employee, the employee's spouse or the employee's same-sex partner; the spouse or same-sex partner of an employee's child; mother in-law and father in-law; a brother or sister of the employee; and a relative of the employee who is dependent on the employee for care or assistance

Employees must inform their supervisor in advance that they will be taking an emergency leave of absence. If extenuating circumstances prevent the employee from providing advance notice to his/her supervisor, the employee must inform his/her supervisor as soon as possible. The supervisor can require the employee to provide evidence that is "reasonable in the circumstances" that the employee was entitled to the leave.

If an employee takes any part of a day as emergency leave, the employee will be deemed to have taken one (1) day's leave on that day. Therefore if an employee takes the afternoon off as emergency leave, they will have one full-day deducted from his/her emergency leave allotment.

 

8 . Long Term Disability Leave (LTD):

 

Long term disability leave is granted to all eligible employees who are totally disabled by a non-work related accident or sickness during active employment with the University.

The insurance begins after seventeen (17) weeks of continuous disability. During the first twenty-four (24) months of such disability leave the employee shall retain the right to resume his/her normal duties. After twenty-four (24) months of such disability leave the employee shall lose the right to resume his/her normal duties. However, LTD benefits will continue as long as the employee is unable to perform the duties of any occupation for which he/she is reasonably qualified by training, education or experience.

Criteria regarding eligibility, benefit entitlement, duration of coverage, etc, will change based on the nomenclature of the disabled employees position.

Details regarding specific application of the LTD Plan and Leave are available from the Office of Human Resources. In the event of any variation between the information presented above and the applicable master insurance policy, the latter will prevail.

 

9 . Election Leave:

 

Employees eligible to vote in federal, provincial and municipal elections are entitled to four (4) hours of leave for federal elections and three (3) hours of leave for provincial and municipal elections, while the polls are open, for the purposes of voting. If an employee’s hours of employment do not allow for these consecutive hours prior to the closing of the polls, the employee may, at a time convenient to the supervisor, be absent from work without loss of pay.

 

10 . Vacation Leave:

 Please refer to the Vacations, Salaried Employees information.

 

11 . Leave Without Pay:

 

Permission for a special leave of absence without pay may be granted in unusual circumstances, taking into account not only the merits of the individual’s case but also the operational needs of the department concerned. All such requests must be approved by the employee’s supervisor and in cases where the leave of absence exceeds 1 (one) day, authorization is required from the Director of Human Resources.

When such leave is granted, no vacation credits are earned during the period of absence, and no salary is paid for any statutory holidays which fall during the period of the leave. However, since arrangements can be made in certain cases for the continuation of some of the staff benefits plans at full cost to the employee, an individual taking a leave of absence without pay should contact the Office of Human Resources for specific information on benefit planning during the period of leave.