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Last revision: 31/10/2023
Available formats: Word and PDF
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This letter serves the purpose of giving an employer notice that the employee is taking a personal leave of absence. More specifically, a sick leave of absence. This includes illness, injury or medical emergency of an employee. This can also mean preparing for a medical procedure.
Sick leave is a statutory leave under Provincial and Territorial employment law.
For example, in Ontario, the Employment Standards Act, 2000, SO 2000, c 41 creates this leave as an employee's minimum right. This means that the employee is entitled to take a personal leave based on the number of days the law permits, and they are entitled to maintain their job security and keep the same pay. The number of days an employee is entitled to take depends on the Province or Territory, but it varies between two to twelve days.
A few important points to keep in mind:
(1) Often times, employers may already have an existing sick days policy in place and an employment contract that outlines the allotted days per year that an employee can take off due to sickness or injury. If an employee takes a leave of absence, the days taken off count as one. In other words, one day of leave counts as both the employer contract leave and the leave under the law.
(2) In some Provinces, the law permits sick days to be carried over to the following calendar year if they are unused.
(3) Employers may ask for proof of entitlement. This may include, for example, having a medical note in the event of sick leave.
(4) Each Provincial or Territorial statute will also have its own requirements for taking a leave. Certain statutes will require employees to have worked for the employer at least 14 days prior to being able to submit a notice of leave.
HOW TO USE THIS DOCUMENT
This document is meant to be given from the employee to the employer. This puts the employer on notice that the employee is exercising their right under the law to take a personal leave of absence. The letter can be sent by mail or email in PDF format.
Employees should keep a copy of this letter for their records.
Employment law legislation is governed by each Province and Territory. For federal employees, the Canada Labour Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. L-2) applies. These laws establish the minimum requirements for a personal leave of absence that employers must afford to their employees.
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