Are you employed in an industry that’s covered by Federal labour laws such as airlines, railways, trucking, banking or telecommunications? If so, you will have up to 10 paid sick days next year! Workers won this basic protection through tireless organizing and it will benefit almost 1 million people across Canada.
These permanent, employer-paid sick days came into effect under the Canada Labour Code on December 1, 2022. However, the earliest that workers will have access to any paid sick days is January 1, 2023 when they will have access to 3 days. While this paid sick leave program is not perfect, it is an improvement for many workers. And it sets the example for the provincial governments to legislate this basic protection for all workers.
Keep reading to understand if you are covered by Federal labour laws and, if so, what you are entitled to under the new laws. You can also download and share the Federal Paid Sick Leave fact sheet.
Share on Facebook and Twitter.
Comparta la información sobre la licencia federal por enfermedad pagada en español.
Find more workers’ rights information in multiple languages.
Am I entitled to paid sick days?
On December 1, 2022 we finally won paid sick days for federally regulated workers. Workers who are covered by Federal labour laws work at jobs where the companies operate across provinces or internationally. This includes railways, trucking, airports, banks, telecommunications and postal services. Workers from these sectors are covered by the Canada Labour Code and are now entitled to paid sick days as long as they work continuously for the same company.
You do not need to be full time or a permanent employee to get paid sick days. Part-time, seasonal, temporary, casual and contract workers are entitled to get paid sick days. There are also no exemptions based on the size of the company; these new laws apply to small businesses as well.
It’s important to know that If you are covered by provincial labour laws, you are not entitled to these new paid sick days. In addition, federal student interns, federal public service workers and employees of the Canadian Parliament are not covered. We need to continue to make sure that everyone gets the right to paid sick days!
I am covered by Federal labour laws. What can I use these paid sick days for?
- Personal illness or injury
- Quarantine or self-isolation
- Medical appointments during work hours
- Donating an organ or tissue
These paid sick days cannot be used to take care of sick family members. Workers have an additional personal emergency leave which provides 5 days that they can use for taking care of their family.
How do I accumulate paid sick days?
As of December 1, 2022, you receive 3 paid sick days after 30 days of continuous employment. After that, you earn 1 additional day at the start of each month. Any paid sick days not used each year can be carried to the next calendar year. But there is a maximum of 10 days you can earn and use each year. Instead of the calendar year, your employer can use an alternative “year of employment” such as the fiscal year to calculate your paid sick days.
How much will my employer pay me if I take a paid sick day?
You will be paid your regular pay during the duration of your sick time. But if your hours differ from day to day or are paid by commission, your employer must pay the average of your daily earnings based on the last 20 days of work (this does not include overtime).
Do I need a doctor’s note to take a paid sick day?
You do not need a doctor’s note to get a paid sick day. However, you must inform your employer in writing as soon as possible that you will be taking a paid sick day. Also, if you are taking 5 or more paid sick days in a row, your employer is allowed to ask you for a doctor’s note. Your employer must make the request for a doctor’s note in writing no later than 15 days after you return to work.
Please call our Workers’ Rights Hotline at the Workers’ Action Centre for more information or about any issue you have with your rights at work at 416-531-0778 or visit our website: www.workersactioncentre.org.