Effective July 11, 2021, Saskatchewan entered Step Three of the Re-Opening Roadmap and the public health order relative to COVID-19 was lifted. All restrictions related to the public health order were removed as of that date.
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Several job-protected employment leaves are available, including:
Job-protected leaves under employment standards are unpaid. However, an employee who wishes to take a leave may be eligible for Employment Insurance. Contact Service Canada toll-free at 1-800-206-7218 for more information.
Please note that interpersonal violence leave provides for five employer-paid days of leave.
For the majority of leaves, a full-or part-time employee who is currently employed, and has been employed for more than 13 consecutive weeks by the same employer before the day the leave is to begin, qualifies for leave.
Under The Public Health Emergency Act, employees do not have to have worked for an employer for any set time in order to take Public Health Emergency Leave.
An employee who wishes to take any of the following leaves must provide the employer with at least four weeks' written notice:
The notice must state:
An employee taking a leave longer than 60 days must provide the employer with at least four weeks' written notice before returning to work. This written notice must be given to the employer before the leave expires. The employer is not required to take the employee back until this notice is received.
The obligation to provide four weeks' written notice before taking leave does not apply:
An employee who takes a leave of 60 days or less does not have to provide the employer with four weeks' written notice before returning to work.
An employee who is not required to provide four weeks' written notice must provide notice as far as possible in advance of the start and end of the leave.
If an employment leave involves a medical issue, the employer has a right to ask for the employee to provide a medical certificate from a duly qualified medical practitioner as to the reason for the leave or the extension of the leave.
Employees taking public health emergency leave do not need to provide a medical certificate.
An employee continues to accrue seniority, vacation, service, and rights of recall while on an employment leave or a combination of employment leaves to a maximum of 78 weeks.
An employee on leave continues to accrue vacation seniority, to a maximum of 78 weeks. After returning from leave, an employee gets the same vacation entitlements that the employee would have received if the leave had not been taken. Vacation pay may be lower since it is a percentage of the previous year's earnings.
For example, an employee with nine years of service has three weeks of vacation entitlements. If the employee takes 78 weeks of maternity and parental leave, the employee would have more than 10 years of seniority upon return to work. The employee would then be eligible for four weeks of vacation.
An employer who provides benefit plans to employees must offer to continue to provide those benefits to an employee who is on leave, or a combination of leaves. The employee may be required to pay all premiums to maintain benefits.
An employee is entitled to participate in a benefit plan for the duration of the leave. The time limit for an employee to participate in a benefit plan will depend on the prescribed amount for the specific leave.
Benefit plans that an employee can continue participating in while on leave include medical, dental, disability or life insurance, accidental death or dismemberment, a registered retirement savings plan, and other pension plans.
An employee returning from leave of 60 days or less must be re-employed in the same job they had before the leave. An employee returning from a leave longer than 60 days can be reinstated into a comparable job with no loss in pay or benefits.
Section 2-8 of The Saskatchewan Employment Act forbids an employer from taking discriminatory action against an employee because the employee:
Employers who terminate an employee in one of these protected categories must show that the termination was not related to the leave. For example:
Employers who are thinking about terminating an employee who is on a job-protected leave or is returning from a job-protected leave should get legal advice before taking action.
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