Family responsibilities – 802-1-IPG-096

Starting September 1, 2020, interns and student interns in federally regulated industries or workplaces are entitled to the following:

  • Interns:
    • entitled to receive full labour standards protections, under Part III of the Canada Labour Code
    • must be paid at least minimum wage
  • Student interns, who are undertaking internships to fulfill the requirements of their educational program:
    • entitled to receive certain federal labour standards protections
    • not required to be paid

For more information:

Coming into force: September 1, 2019

Note: In accordance with the Interpretation Act, words in the following text importing male persons include female persons.

Guideline

1. Purpose

The purpose of this IPG is to define the scope of the terms "responsibilities related to the health or care of any of their family members" and "responsibilities related to the education of any of their family members who are under 18 years of age" specified in Sections 174.1 and 206.6 within the meaning of Divisions I & VII , Part III of the Canada Labour Code (Code).

2. Item

The following provisions have been added to Part III of the Code:

  • Right to refuse – 174.1
  • Personal Leave – 206.6

These amendments come into force on September 1, 2019.
A standard interpretation and application is required nationally for the terms, "responsibilities related to the health or care of any of their family members" and "responsibilities related to the education of any of their family members who are under 18 years of age".The following question will therefore be examined:

  • what is considered a responsibility related to the health or care of an employee's family member?
  • what is considered a responsibility related to the education of a family member under the age of 18 years?

3. Interpretation

In this context,"responsibility" refers to the constraint imposed by moral or social rules to have to take care of something or someone.

For the purpose of Sections 174.1 & 206.6 (1) b), carrying out responsibilities related to the health or care of any of their family members would include activities such as but not limited to:

  • accompanying the family member to an appointment with a health care practitioner
  • accompanying the family member to a surgery
  • accompanying the family member to the hospital or other medical institutions (i.e. labs, clinics) to undergo scheduled medical tests
  • picking up the family member from school due to an illness, injury or medical emergency
  • taking care of a young child for a day following an unexpected school or day care closure
  • taking care of a sick or injured family member at home
  • making arrangements for a family member's long-term care
  • helping move an elderly family member into a more suitable residence

However, the following activities would not qualify as health or care related responsibilities:

  • attending a family social gathering
  • routinely walking the dog, buying groceries or watering the plants of a family member
  • helping with a family member's wedding arrangements
  • dealing with non urgent legal issues (i.e. wills, powers of attorney, do not resuscitate orders) for the family member
  • picking up mail, going to the bank, paying bills for the family member

For the purpose of section 174.1 and paragraph 206.6 (1) (c), carrying out responsibilities related to the education of any of their family members who are under 18 years of age would include activities such as but not limited to:

  • attending parent-teacher interviews and meetings
  • meeting with education specialists to optimize the child's development
  • meeting with a school counsellor or principal to discuss behavioural challenges at school
  • accompanying a student with special needs to ensure he or she can participate in an educational activity
  • attending a school orientation or registration meeting

However, the following activities would not qualify as education-related responsibilities:

  • attending a school-related performance
  • accompanying a child on an extracurricular activity
  • accompanying an independent, older child for their first day at school
  • bringing a child to a community art class or sporting activity
  • helping a family member study for an exam
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