What the Act says

The Act respecting labour standards contains provisions allowing an employee who is a Canadian Forces reservist to be absent.

An employee who is a Canadian Forces reservist may be absent from work, without pay, for one of the following reasons:

  • to take part in an operation of the Canadian Forces outside Canada, including preparation, training, rest and transportation from his place of residence and back, for a maximum period of 18 months.

 

 

Note

Caution:

To avail himself of this right, the employee must be credited with 12 months of uninterrupted service with his employer.

  • to take part in an operation of the Canadian Forces in Canada, the purpose of which is to:

    • provide assistance in case of a major disaster within the meaning of the Civil Protection Act
    • to aid the civil power, on request of the Attorney General of Québec or under the National Defence Act
    • intervene in any other emergency situation designated by the Government
    • to take part in annual training for the time period prescribed by regulation or, if no such period is prescribed, for a period of not more than 15 days
    • to take part in any other operations of the Canadian Forces, in Canada or abroad, in the cases, on the conditions and for the time period prescribed by government regulation.

Exceptions

A reservist-employee cannot avail himself of this right, if his absence:

  • could endanger the life, health or security of other workers or the population
  • represents a risk of destruction or serious deterioration of movable or immovable property or in another case of superior force
  • is inconsistent with his professional code of ethics.

Period of absence and return to work

To benefit from the right to be absent from work, the employee must notify the employer in writing at least four weeks ahead of time of the date when the absence begins, in addition to specifying the reason and the length of time. This notice period may, however, be shorter for serious cause; in this case, the employee must notify his employer as soon as he is able to do so.


The employee may return to work before the stipulated date after having given his employer written notice of at least three weeks of the new date of his return to work.


The employee shall give his employer, upon request, any document justifying his absence.


An employee who is absent for a period of more than 12 weeks cannot be absent again for one of these reasons prior to the expiry of a 12-month period from the date of his return to work.


When the employee returns, the employer must reinstate him in his usual position and give him the wages and other benefits to which he would have been entitled had he remained at work.


If his position has been abolished, the employee retains the same rights and privileges as those from which he would have benefited had he remained at work.

These provisions must not, however, give the employee an advantage that he would not have enjoyed had he remained at work.