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Compassionate Care Leave

CAUT Policy Statement

Sound employment practice recognizes employees’ family and dependent care responsibilities, and accepts an obligation to accommodate their absence during periods which demand that priority be given to these responsibilities in circumstances of critical or terminal illness. A Compassionate Care Leave Policy shall cover employees to care for family, dependents, and/or a person with whom they have a committed, caring relationship.

All academic and general staff have the right to take compassionate care leave and to maintain all rights under the collective agreement for the duration of the leave. They should retain full salary and benefits during compassionate care leave.

The length of the leave should depend on the circumstances, and is at the discretion of the employee.

If academic and general staff qualify for legislated employment insurance entitlements, the employer should provide a top-up to maintain their full salary. The employer should also maintain benefit and pension contributions based on their regular salary for the duration of the leave.

Academic and general staff who have taken compassionate care leave should retain their appointment with full rights under the collective agreement or handbook. They should also have the right to defer tenure and promotion decisions and sabbatical leave and should retain their seniority.

The employer should not penalize neither an employee for taking compassionate care leave, nor the employee’s academic unit. The employee should be replaced for the duration of the leave.

Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2007.