Leave without pay for personal needs

Disclaimer: Changes in your work or life situation

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You can request leave without pay for personal needs for either up to 3 months or for more than 3 months but up to one year. In most collective agreements, this request can only be made once during your employment in the public service. Refer to the relevant authorities, such as your collective agreement and/or the various terms and conditions of employment specific to your classification group, for the specifics on taking a personal leave.

Record your leave

It is your responsibility to request and receive authorization for any absences from the office through your departmental leave system.

If you cannot access your departmental leave system, complete the leave application and absence report (accessible only on the Government of Canada network) and submit it to your manager. Either your manager or trusted source will then forward the authorized leave request form to the Pay Centre for recording your leave usage.


Approval of leave without pay for personal needs is discretionary. Your manager may approve the leave after considering the effects of your absence on the operational requirements of the organization.

Notify the Pay Centre

Once your leave is approved, your manager will notify your departmental human resources section, who will in turn provide the necessary information to the Pay Centre under cover of a pay action request form. The Pay Centre will take the appropriate action to temporarily stop your salary and provide you with detailed information about the effects of your leave without pay on your pay and any related benefits or insurances.

Claim employment insurance

A web-based record of employment will be completed on your behalf and retained at Employment and Social Development Canada. If you wish to make a claim for employment insurance, you will need this record to establish your eligibility and level of benefits. Find out more at Employment Insurance: Regular benefits.

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