Employers may not discharge or discipline employees who have worked for them for more than 13 consecutive weeks because of absence due to the illness or injury of the employee:
- if the absence does not exceed 12 days in a calendar year for an illness or injury that is not serious;
- if the absence is due to serious illness or injury, and does not exceed 12 weeks in a period of 52 weeks; or
- if the employee is injured and receiving benefits under The Workers' Compensation Act, and the absence does not exceed 26 weeks in a period of 52 weeks.
The employer may require a medical note to verify the absence. Employment standards do not require employers to pay employees who are away sick. However, employers and employees may agree to paid sick leave.
Using Vacation as "Sick Leave"
Vacation pay can be used as "sick leave" only by mutual agreement between an employer and employee. Vacation days used as "sick leave" should be clearly identified on the employee's pay stub.
An employee's vacation entitlement is not reduced if vacation pay is paid out when they are away due to illness or injury.