Reminder of the criteria for using leave with pay for other reasons — May 13, 2020

In the context of the reopening of schools and daycare centres in Quebec, the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer shared the following reminder regarding the criteria for the use of leave with pay for other reasons (code 699), either for family reasons related to child care or school closures. Employees are encouraged to discuss their situation with their manager.

Many of you have been asking how the re-opening of schools and daycares will impact current special leave provisions, particularly the use of ‘Other Leave With Pay (699)’ for family-related responsibilities related to daycare or school closures.

First, we would note that the guidance provided on the Employee Illness and Leave page on canada.ca regarding childcare arrangements continues to be in effect, recognizing that a number of provinces and territories have not announced the re-opening of these facilities or are announcing gradual re-openings.

As schools and daycares are re-opened, we expect that employees who could not work due to childcare obligations will be able to return to work. We recognize, however, that there will be some instances where employees may be unable to work their full hours if their children are unable to return to school or daycare due to health reasons, limited availability of spaces or other restrictions put in place by provincial or territorial authorities. In these cases, employees may use ‘Other Leave With Pay (699)’ for hours not worked, if they are unable to make alternate childcare arrangements.

We would expect that employees continue to adopt a good faith approach in using this leave, keeping in mind their important role in providing services to Canadians. We encourage managers and employees to have a conversation regarding how best to manage leave requests in this context, including employees’ ability to return to work or whether flexible working arrangements would be a reasonable alternative to taking leave.

We will be sharing more detailed information with the human resources community through our regular teleconferences and touchpoints to help guide them in their discussions with managers and employees regarding the use of this leave going forward.

Thank you for your continued collaboration and flexibility as we prepare for and respond to some easing of COVID-related restrictions

Public health authorities continue to signal that physical distancing requirements will remain in place even as some restrictions begin to ease in some places, we should all expect some combination of remote work and work at traditional worksites to continue for the foreseeable future.

Our new normal in the public service will therefore take some time to shape. The health and safety of federal employees remains paramount. Please note that we will be re-evaluating our guidance regarding special leave provisions in late June and we will update you on any further changes at that time.

Véronique Dériger
Director General
Human Resources and Workplace Management Branch

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