What the Act says

The Act respecting labour standards contains provisions concerning leaves in cases of sickness, an organ or tissue donation for transplant, an accident or family obligations that protect the majority of Québec workers, whether they are full or part time.

For himself

Extended absence

An employee who has 3 months of uninterrupted service with the same employer may be absent from work, without pay:

  • for up to 26 weeks per 12-month period if he is sick or the victim of an accident

In all cases of an extended absence, the employee must notify his employer as soon as possible of his absence and the reasons for it. The employer may ask the employee, notably concerning the length of the absence or its repetitive nature, for a document attesting to the reasons for his absence.

When the employee returns to work, the employer must reinstate him in his former position and grant him the wages and the benefits that he would have been entitled to had he remained at work.

If his position has been abolished, the employee retains the same rights and privileges that he would have enjoyed had he remained at work.

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

If the employee continues to make contributions to the various group insurance and pension plans during his leave, the employer must do likewise. If the employer does not, he is liable to legal proceedings under section 122 of the Act respecting labour standards.

Please note that the employee cannot benefit from these leaves if his absence is recognized as an employment injury within the meaning of the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases.

For the employee’s loved ones

Short-term absences

An employee may be absent from work for 10 days per year, without pay:

  • to fulfill obligations related to the care, health or education of his child or the child of his spouse
  • due to the state of health:

    • of his spouse
    • of his father or mother
    • of his brother or sister
    • of one of his grandparents.

These leaves may be divided into days. Days may also be divided with the employer’s authorization.

The employee must notify his employer as soon possible and take all means to limit the taking and duration of these leaves.

Is an employer required to pay sick days to an employee who is absent?

No. The Act respecting labour standards does not provide for paid leaves in case of sickness or accident. The decision lies with the employer.

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