Information for employers on Compassionate Care benefits

Employees under federal jurisdiction

The Canada Labour Code (Part III) provides job protection to employees under federal jurisdiction to ensure that an EI eligible worker can take up to 27 weeks of compassionate care leave, with 26 weeks EI compassionate care benefits plus a 1 week waiting period, to provide care and support to a family member if a medical certificate is issued.

Care or support of a family member means:

  • providing psychological or emotional support; or
  • arranging for care by a third party; or
  • directly providing or participating in the care.

Compassionate care leave may be shared by two or more employees of the same family working under federal jurisdiction, but the total amount of leave which may be taken by two or more employees in regard to the same family member is 27 weeks, for instance 26 weeks EI compassionate care benefits plus the 1 week waiting period.

If your business currently provides a top-up on maternity and parental benefits for your employees, you can also provide the same type of top-up for compassionate care leave.

If your company has or will have a registered wage loss indemnity plan that qualifies for the EI premium rate reduction you are not required to extend compassionate care benefits to your employees. Therefore you do not need to modify your plan to continue to qualify for a premium reduction. However, if you wish to extend compassionate care benefits to your employees, you may do so without affecting your premium reduction.

When completing Records of Employment for your employees, code "Z" should be used for compassionate care leave.

Employees who fall under provincial labour standards

Leave for compassionate care within the provinces and territories varies. You should contact the provincial authorities where you reside for specific information on the leave, eligibility criteria, who can apply, etc.

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