On Friday, March 8 the Family Caregiver Leave Act (Bill 30) was debated for the third time at second reading in the Ontario Legislature. If passed, the Bill would introduce a new unpaid leave of absence for up to eight weeks per year for employees who need to care for a sick or injured family member. For a detailed summary of the current Bill, please see our recent blog.
Debates in the Legislature have focused on concerns about:
- the existence of family medical leave and personal emergency leave, which already provide job security in similar circumstances;
- the impact on small to medium-sized businesses, as the current draft Bill does not limit entitlement to employees of larger employers;
- the requirement that leave be taken in whole week segments; and
- the absence of a definition for “serious medical condition,” which in our view represents the most problematic omission in the draft Bill.
Some members of the opposition have called for the Bill to be turned over to committee, in order to work out these concerns. We will continue to follow this Bill and update you as events unfold.