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Article 27 : sick leave

Note: Definitions of disability appear under 38.1, Group Insurance, and are hereby referenced.

27.1 Sick leave benefits are payable at one hundred per cent of the regular base salary for a maximum period of one hundred and nineteen (119) calendar days or for a period ending on the employment termination date identified before the start of the disability, whichever period is shorter. A gradual return to work or a return to work part time or to a part-time position is included in the calculation of the one hundred and nineteen (119) calendar days of sick leave granted to the employee.

27.2 A regular employee who has not completed his probationary period accumulates one day (1) of sick leave per month, which can be used during his probationary period.

27.3 A regular employee with a total disability can receive sick leave benefits under the following conditions:

  • at the beginning of the disability period, the employee informs his supervisor of the anticipated length of absence;
  • the employee fills out the online application for sick leave within ten (10) working days from the start of the sick leave;
  • Within five (5) working days after returning to work, the employee submits a medical note to Health and Wellness, Human Resources. The Note will indicate the date of the appointment, the dates of absence, the doctor's name, signature and registration number, and any applicable functional limitations:
    • when the sick leave exceeds four (4) consecutive work days; or
    • when the employee's sick leave record casts serious doubt on the validity of the request for sick leave, even when the sick leave is less than three (3) consecutive work days.

27.4 When the disability period exceeds (10) days, the employee provides a medical certificate to the University, duly completed by his treating physician, no later than twenty (20) days after the start of the absence. This certificate is then to be renewed every month. Otherwise, the sick leave is without pay, and the faculty or service discontinues the salary from the date where a medical certificate was to be submitted and the days off work used up to that date are treated as annual leave. If the employee's annual leave has been exhausted, the absent days are treated as leave without pay and a Record of Employment is issued for potential Employment Insurance benefits.

27.5  At any time during a sick leave, in order to determine the employee's eligibility for sick leave benefits or his ability to return to work, the University, through its Employee Health, Wellness and Leave Sector, may request that the employee undergo a medical assessment by one (1) or more physicians designated by the University, at the latter's expense.

27.6 When the medical certificate or examination(s) do not support a sick leave due to disability or recognized under the long-term disability program, but the attending physician maintains that the employee cannot return to work, the employee is on leave without pay. A medical certificate is required every month to maintain the unpaid-leave status for a maximum of one hundred and nineteen (119) calendar days, then every six (6) months thereafter. The conditions set out in the article on seniority apply to the accumulation and retention of seniority during this period. The employment is terminated two (2) years after the start of the absence.

27.7  In order to protect confidentiality, the employee arranges for medical notes and certificates to be forwarded by the employee or the doctor directly to the health care professional in the Health, Wellness and Leave Sector.

27.8 Under no conditions, is the employee required to disclose the nature of his sickness or the name of his treating physician to any representative of the University other than the health care professional in the Health, Wellness and Leave Sector.

27.9 In order to renew the maximum period of one hundred and nineteen (119) calendar days of sick leave under 27.1, the employee must:

  • return to work for one (1) full working day before a new sick leave period in the case of a completely unrelated and different disability, where the accident or sickness occurred after the day of return to work; or
  • return to work for thirty (30) consecutive calendar days before a new sick leave period if the disability results from the same cause. During this period of thirty (30) consecutive days, the employee cannot take annual leave.

27.10 An employee who misses work after receiving a notice of termination of employment is not eligible for sick leave benefits unless he provides a medical certificate for any sick leave after this notice.

27.11  The benefit period of one hundred and nineteen (119) calendar days or the balance of unused days in this period cannot be cashed in or accumulated.

27.12  Sick leave benefits are reduced by the amount of compensation paid under an occupational health and safety program, or the amount of similar benefits received by the employee under a governmental insurance plan by reason of sickness or accident.

27.13 When an employee is injured or sick during leave without pay, he is not eligible for sick leave benefits.

27.14 An employee who is still on sick leave after the benefit period of one hundred and nineteen (119) calendar days may be eligible for long-term disability benefits under the long-term disability insurance plan under Article 38 of the Agreement.

27.15 The above sick leave benefits are not granted under certain circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • an injury or sickness voluntarily self-inflicted with the sole purpose of benefiting from the provisions of this article;
  • pregnancy (however, complications arising from the pregnancy are covered by this article upon presentation of a medical certificate);
  • diseases or injuries sustained while committing an act recognized as a criminal offence by a duly constituted court or while serving a prison sentence;
  • when the employee is on vacation; or
  • during a strike, except if the valid disability started before the beginning of the strike and a medical certificate was provided prior to the strike.

27.16  When the disability stems from drug addiction, alcoholism or any other addiction recognized as a disability, sick leave benefits are to be granted only during the leave required for the treatment of these conditions by a physician or another specialist approved by the University. Treatment for such a disability, such as a treatment program or a recovery plan, must be approved by the Health, Wellness and Leave Sector.

27.17 Wherever possible and reasonable, the University accommodates employees with functional limitations to facilitate their return to work after an accident or illness. If possible, and depending on the accommodations to be made, the parties can also decide to place an employee in a vacant position that is in keeping with the functional limitations.

27.18 When an employee who has not been given sick leave benefits requires reasonable accommodation according to his treating physician, the University can obtain an assessment from a specialist to determine the functional limitations and the accommodations required. The University pays the cost of such an assessment.

27.19  The employee notifies the Health, Wellness and Leave Sector, of the health condition, disability or impairment preventing him from meeting the job requirements.

27.20  The employee provides the Health, Wellness and Leave Sector, in confidence, with the information and documents from health professionals to properly explain the nature and extent of the accommodation requested.

27.21 The employee and Institute support and collaborate with the University in its efforts to identify and provide the necessary accommodations, in particular by helping to identify solutions that the University can reasonably consider to meet the employee's needs.

27.22  Sick leave for term employees

Term employees accumulate one (1) day of sick leave per month for the duration of the contract.

  • In the case of a long-term illness, the employee is entitled to use accumulated sick leave to cover the waiting period before receiving Employment Insurance benefits.
  • Sick leave can be accumulated when a contract is renewed but cannot be cashed in. The unused sick leave from previous contracts in a position of continuous service is credited up to a maximum of fifteen (15) working days.
  • The terms, conditions and limitations for sick leave for a regular employee apply to a term employee using the above leave.