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Article 24 : leaves and absences

24.1 General

24.1.1 The term “leave without pay” refers to an authorized leave during which Employees do not receive their salary.

24.1.2 The term “paid leave” refers to an authorized leave during which Employees are paid at full salary.

24.1.3 During a paid leave, Employees will continue to accumulate seniority as if they were actively at work.

24.1.4 During a Leave without pay, Employees will maintain their seniority but will not accrue additional seniority during the period of leave, unless specifically provided for under the following articles.

24.1.5 Subject to Article 26, for the duration of all leaves, Employees shall continue to be eligible to participate in any benefit plans which exist at the time at which the leave is taken. For leaves without pay of more than three months’ duration, the Employee will pay for the Employer’s share of benefit premium costs, if any, of providing those benefits, except for pregnancy and parental leave where the cost sharing will remain as it was just prior to the start of the leave period.

24.1.6 The Employee will not be responsible for the performance of the work during an approved leave of absence with or without pay, nor shall they be required to make up any of the duties and/or hours of work prior to, or when returning from leave.

Any amendments to the duties and/or hours of work will be effected by submitting the Workload Review Form (Appendix E).

24.2 Union Leave

24.2.1 Upon notice of at least ten (10) working days, leave without pay shall be granted to not more than ten (10) Employees at any one time, who may be elected or selected by the Union to attend any authorized labour convention or educational seminar. Such leave is to be confined to the actual duration of the convention or educational seminar and the necessary travelling time. Such leaves for an individual shall not exceed ten (10) hours of work per academic session and shall not exceed twenty (20) hours of work in a given academic year.

24.3 Bereavement Leave

24.3.1 An Employee shall be granted a paid leave of three (3) consecutive working days for the death of a close relative, but such leave will not extend beyond ten (10) days following the day of the funeral. It will not be granted if the period of ten (10) days occurs during a period when the Employee is not required to work. For the purpose of this Article, the expression 'close relative' is limited to the mother, father, stepfather or stepmother, foster mother, foster father, sister, brother, spouse, children, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law or brother-in-law and grandparent (i.e. those of the Employee or the Employee’s spouse).

24.3.2 In exceptional circumstances, additional paid leave may be granted by the Employer; the Employer may also consider cases of bereavement other than those listed above and may grant paid leave at its discretion.

24.3.3 If the funeral takes place more than three hundred and twenty kilometres from Ottawa (200 miles), the Employee is granted an extra day of paid leave to attend the funeral. If the funeral takes place more than six hundred and forty kilometres from Ottawa (400 miles), the Employee is granted two extra days of paid leave in total, to attend the funeral. It will not be granted if the period of ten (10) days occurs during a period when the Employee is not required to work.

24.4 Court Leave

24.4.1 Upon written request, supported by a copy of their summons, an Employee shall be granted paid leave to serve on jury duty or appear as a witness in a court of law or before any statutory or legal body in Canada which has the power to require the presence of witnesses; upon return to work they shall provide their Supervisor with written confirmation of the date(s) and time(s) on which they appeared and or served, signed by an appropriate official of the court. The salary will be reduced by any amount received for such appearances. It is the Employee’s responsibility to advise the Employer of such payments.

24.4.2 Unpaid leave for an Employee who is a defendant shall be granted for appearing in court or in the case of temporary incarceration pending bail unless there is, in the opinion of the Employer, a nexus between the Employee’s work duties and the charge, or if the charge impugns the University’s reputation, in which case no leave will be granted. Such leave will not be unjustifiably withheld.

Court leave does not apply to Employees who are temporarily incarcerated or serving a prison sentence beyond two (2) weeks.

24.5 Conference Leave

24.5.1 If an Employee’s attendance at a conference is determined to be beneficial by the appropriate authority in the academic unit concerned, the Employee will be granted paid leave for this purpose for up to ten (10) hours of work.

24.6 Compassionate Leave

The family relationships for which an Employee is entitled to leave under Article 24.6 shall be those listed in Article 24.3.1 (Close relatives), except where the Ontario Employment Standards Act provides a greater entitlement.

24.6.1 An employee shall be granted special paid leave for an annual maximum of ten (10) hours of work for all situations defined in 24.6.3 and 24.6.4 which include, but are not limited to, emergencies or family obligations, such as the temporary care of a family member who is sick, a doctor's or dentist's appointment for a family dependent who is unable to travel alone.

24.6.2 Subject to an annual maximum of ten (10) hours that includes the leaves provided for the situations defined under 24.6.3 and 24.6.4, a Dean may grant special leave for other exceptional situations that are not provided for elsewhere under Article 24 and which may include, but are not limited to an appointment with academic authorities.

24.6.3 In addition to the paid leave provided under article 24.6.1, employees are entitled to a total of ten (10) working days of leave without pay because of personal illness, injury or medical emergency for themselves or for members of their close family.

24.6.4 In addition to the paid leave provided under Article 24.6.1, an Employee is entitled to a leave of absence without pay of up to eight (8) weeks to provide care or support to members of their close family if a qualified health practitioner issues a certificate stating that the individual has a serious medical condition with significant risk of death occurring within a period of 26 weeks or shorter. The conditions of the leave will be those specified in the Employment Standards Act. In exceptional circumstances, additional paid leave may be granted by the Employer. The Employer may also consider cases other than those listed above and may grant leave at its discretion.

24.6.5 The Health and Wellness Sector of Human Resources may require the Employee who takes leave under this article to provide evidence that is reasonable in the circumstances, that the Employee is entitled to the leave.

24.6.6 For all leaves to be taken under article 24.6, an Employee must notify their Supervisor of the need for the leave and the expected duration of the leave as soon as the need for leave becomes known to them.

24.7 Sick Leave/Medical Leave

24.7.1 An Employee shall earn paid sick leave credits at the rate of two and a half (2.5) hours of paid leave for each quarter (1/4) of a Full Appointment.

24.7.2 Unused sick leave may be accumulated, up to a maximum of thirty eight (38) hours of paid sick leave.

24.7.3 Any accumulated sick leave has no monetary value and will not be cashed out.

24.7.4 The Employer may request a medical note to corroborate the length of the sick leave for any sick leave absences of more than three (3) consecutive working days.

24.7.5 An Employee must notify their Supervisor and the Unit Chair as to the expected duration of all illnesses.

24.7.6 An Employee whose sick leave credits have expired will be on approved sick leave without pay as long as the notification requirements are provided as specified under 24.7.5. Seniority will accrue only until the end of the contract.

24.8 Pregnancy Leave

24.8.1 All Employees are entitled to pregnancy leave of up to seventeen (17) consecutive weeks that can start as early as the seventeenth (17th) week preceding the expected date of delivery but cannot start any later than the conclusion of their pregnancy (according to the Ministry of Labour guidelines, except the minimum hours of work shall not be applied to Employees). The pregnancy leave of an Employee who has a miscarriage or stillbirth ends on the date that is the later of:

  • seventeen (17) weeks after the leave began; or
  • six (6) weeks after the stillbirth or miscarriage.

If such leave occurs during the term of any contract, the Employee shall receive the lesser of the balance of remuneration owing under their contract, or seventy-five (75) hours at their wage rate.

The Employee may extend their leave pursuant to Article 24.9 and, upon return as a full-time student, will be given priority in the offering of positions pursuant to Article 18.6.2.1 (1). Where a request for extended leave is made on the basis of complications related to pregnancy, the leave will be governed by Article 24.7 upon the Employee’s request.

24.8.2 In order to qualify for leave under this section, the Employee must present a medical certificate attesting to the expected date of delivery to the Health and Wellness Sector and submit a written notice at least two weeks before the leave, except when a relevant qualified health practitioner confirms that this deadline cannot be observed.

24.8.3 The Employee may shorten their pregnancy leave by advising the Unit Chair at least four (4) weeks in advance.

24.8.4 The Employee and the employing Unit shall record in writing their joint understanding of the anticipated beginning and end dates of the leave no later than two (2) weeks before the beginning of the leave, unless a relevant qualified health practitioner confirms that this deadline cannot be observed, as provided in 24.8.2.

24.8.5 If the end of the leave occurs within the existing contract, the returning Employee shall be reinstated to their previous position or shall be provided with alternative work of a comparable nature at the same rate of pay for the remainder of their appointment. Should the Employee return after the date of termination of the contract under which they took pregnancy leave, they will be eligible to apply for positions in the semester following the start of the pregnancy leave, as if they had been employed, without discrimination. The University will honor contracts which have already been issued and accepted. If a contract was to be issued to an Employee before or during their leave according to the provisions of article 18 (particularly art. 18.7 - Job Security), and if this contract was to start during their leave, the Employee shall be remunerated normally until they return to work for this contract. They shall then be reinstated pursuant to 24.8.3 and 24.8.5.

24.8.6 Employees on pregnancy leave continue to accumulate seniority as if they were actively at work.

24.8.7 If an Employee on pregnancy leave is eligible to collect Employment Insurance benefits, any payment of salary during a period of pregnancy leave will be reduced by any amount that is over a hundred percent (100%) of total remuneration, considering only the remuneration received from the Employer, and Employment Insurance benefits.

24.9 Parental Leave

24.9.1 All Employees who have completed thirteen (13) weeks of employment are entitled to parental leave without pay following the birth of the child or the coming of the child into the custody, care, and control of a parent for the first time. The parental leave may begin no later than fifty-two (52) weeks after the day the child is born or comes into the Employee's custody, care and control for the first time, except that an Employee who has taken pregnancy leave must begin their parental leave when the pregnancy leave ends unless the child has not yet come into their custody, care and control for the first time.

24.9.9.1 An Employee’s parental leave may end thirty-five (35) weeks after it began if the Employee also took pregnancy leave and thirty-seven (37) weeks after it began, otherwise.

24.9.2 Employees planning to take parental leave must submit a written notice at least two (2) weeks before the start of the leave; the Employee may shorten this leave by advising the Unit Chair at least two weeks in advance.

24.9.3 Employees on parental leave continue to accumulate seniority as if they were actively at work.

24.9.4 The Employee and the employing Unit shall record in writing their joint understanding of the anticipated beginning and end dates of the leave.

24.9.5 If the end of the leave is within the existing contract, the returning Employee shall be reinstated to their previous position or shall be provided with alternative work of a comparable nature at the same rate of pay for the remainder of their appointment. Should the Employee return after the date of termination of the contract under which they took parental leave, they will be eligible to apply for positions in the semester following the start of the parental leave, as if they had been employed, without discrimination. The start of the subsequent contract will be immediately following the end of the parental leave.

24.10 Academic Leave for Program Studies

24.10.1 For the purposes of 24.10.2 and 24.10.3, the expression “academic requirement” means the Employee’s dissertation, thesis, major paper required for a degree or equivalent to a thesis, thesis proposal defense, thesis defense, comprehensive examinations or the equivalent degree requirement in programs not requiring comprehensive examinations.

24.10.2 An Employee may take a leave from their work for a period of three (3) working days prior to the deadline of the Employee’s academic requirement and may avail themself of three (3) working days subsequent to the deadline of the academic requirement to complete their work, provided:

  • they attend to proctoring exams, labs, DGDs, tutoring and scheduled office hours during the leave; and,
  • the Employee notifies their Supervisor of their intention to take an academic leave as soon as the Employee becomes aware of the deadline to fulfill their academic requirement.

24.10.3 If the deadline for the completion of the Employee’s work falls within a period of three working days immediately prior to or on the same day as the deadline of the Employee’s academic requirement, the Employee shall so notify their Supervisor as soon as they are made aware of the conflict, with a view to resolving the matter. If the matter cannot be resolved between the Employee and the Supervisor, the appropriate graduate director shall resolve the matter in consultation with the Employee, the Supervisor and with the Employee’s academic supervisor or graduate instructor, if necessary. In any event, either the academic deadline or the work deadline will be extended to allow three (3) working days prior to and three (3) working days subsequent to the deadline to complete the academic requirement or the work requirement as the case may be.