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Family Caregivers Bill Passes Final Vote

Web posted on April 29, 2014

Today, Bill 21, the Employment Standards Amendments Act (Leaves to Help Families), 2014, passed third reading with all party support in the Ontario legislature. The legislation will allow caregivers to focus their attention on what matters most, providing care to their loved ones, without the fear of losing their job.

"Aging at home is important to many seniors who want to be with their families. The new Family Caregiver Leave will help more elderly Ontarians recover from injury or illness at home by giving employees time off from work to care for loved ones." Mario Sergio, Minister Responsible for Seniors.

The new legislation - the sixteenth government bill to pass since February 2013 - builds on the existing Family Medical Leave by creating three new job-protected leaves:

* Family Caregiver Leave: up to eight weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for employees to provide care or support to a family member with a serious medical condition.

* Critically Ill Child Care Leave: up to 37 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to provide care to a critically ill child.

* Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance Leave: up to 52 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for parents of a missing child and up to 104 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for parents of a child who has died as a result of a crime. The Critically Ill Child Care Leave and Crime-Related Child Death and Disappearance Leave are necessary to give families access to new Federal benefits.

A doctor's note would be required to qualify for Family Caregiver Leave and Critically Ill Child Care Leave.

"When a family member is sick, home is where they want to be. Being cared for at home is more comfortable for patients, can enhance recovery from illness or injury and reduce strain on our hospitals. These leaves provide support to caregivers so they in turn can support their loved one." Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

Supporting family caregivers is part of the government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario's greatest strengths -- its people and strategic partnerships. QUOTES "The one thing working Ontarians need most when it comes to caring for seriously ill or injured family members is time to be with their loved ones. These new leaves are a matter of compassion. They will increase job security and are the right thing to do for Ontario families." Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour


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