Ontario Newsroom

Caregiver Leaves to Help Families Now in Effect

Archived News Release

Caregiver Leaves to Help Families Now in Effect

Ontario Strengthens Job Security for Families

Ministry of Labour

People in Ontario can now take three new leaves of absence thanks to the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Leaves to Help Families), 2014, which came into effect on October 29. This legislation allows caregivers to focus their attention on what matters most - providing care to their loved ones - without fear of losing their jobs.

The legislation builds on the existing Family Medical Leave by creating additional 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.
Strengthening job security is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.

Quick Facts

  • A medical note is required to qualify for Family Caregiver Leave and Critically Ill Child Care Leave.
  • Employees who take Critically Ill Child Care Leave or Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance Leave may also be able to access new federal benefits for critically ill children or murdered or missing children.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“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

“This initiative supports the government’s focus on putting patients and their families first. When a family member is sick, home is where they want to be.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“When seniors are at their most vulnerable, that is when they need their families the most. The Family Caregiver Leave is significant because it will help more seniors recover from injuries or illnesses, while surrounded by their loved ones who care for them.”

Mario Sergio

Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs

Media Contacts



Jobs and Employment Law and Safety