Long-term illness or disability

From Public Services and Procurement Canada

This page explains what to do when you exceed your paid sick leave: your responsibilities, your manager’s role and the potential effects on your employment and benefits.

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Your responsibilities when illness or injury prevents you from working

Administering sick-leave benefits is complex. You need to work closely with your manager, your departmental human resources team and the Pay Centre to ensure that:

List of sick-leave benefits

The sick-leave benefits you may need to deal with include:

Recording your sick leave in the leave system

You are responsible to request and receive authorization for any absences from the office through your departmental leave system. The Pay Centre does not have access to your departmental leave system.

If you run out of paid leave

Depending on your circumstances, you may request that sick leave credits be advanced to you to cover the period of your absence. This type of leave request is covered to the limit prescribed in your collective agreement or terms and conditions of employment.

You may also request leave without pay for illness or injury. Refer to Appendix B of the Directive on Leave and Special Working Arrangements for additional information.

Leave without pay for illness or injury

If you wish to request leave without pay for illness or injury, you must provide a medical certificate from your physician. With this certificate, and the indication of a likely return to work within a reasonable period of time, your manager will consider granting you leave without pay for illness or injury.

Once your leave without pay is approved, your manager will notify your departmental human resources. They will then notify the Pay Centre through a pay action request form. The Pay Centre will take the appropriate action to temporarily stop your salary.

Note

Your manager may deny your request for leave without pay for illness or injury if it is evident that you will not be able to return to work within the foreseeable future. In this case, your manager will consider granting you leave without pay for a period sufficient to enable you to make the necessary adjustments and preparation for separation from the public service on grounds of disability.

Refer to Appendix B of the Directive on Leave and Special Working Arrangements for additional information.

Effects of leave without pay on benefits and employment

Your leave without pay will have an impact on:

Once the Pay Centre receives the necessary documentation from your departmental human resources team, it will provide you with a benefit letter outlining the impact your period of leave without pay will have on your benefits.

The Pay Centre will also explain:

Benefits: Eligibility

An employee who is indeterminate (see note), part-time working more than one third of the scheduled work week, term of more than 6 months or a term who has completed 6 months of continuous employment, is eligible to apply for benefits. An employee subject to collective bargaining will apply to Sun Life Assurance. An employee who is excluded or unrepresented will apply to Industrial Alliance.

Note

Eligibility conditions apply to seasonal employees.

Benefits: How to apply

You should advise your manager and contact the Pay Centre. You should request the application forms required to apply for benefits from the appropriate insurer. A letter explaining the application process will be prepared and sent to you with the application forms.

Filling your position in your absence

There may be the potential that your position could be filled on a permanent basis while you are on leave without pay. This generally happens if your period of leave exceeds one year. Your manager will be in contact with you if this occurs.

Your manager will regularly re-examine your situation to ensure that continuation of leave without pay is warranted by current medical evidence. Such leave without pay situations are to be resolved within 2 years of the leave commencement date, although each case must be evaluated on the basis of its particular circumstances.

Refer to Appendix B of the Directive on Leave and Special Working Arrangements for additional information.

Returning to work with changes to your schedule

You should immediately notify your manager if your physician has certified that you are able to return to work, but that you are:

Reviewing your return to work schedule

Your manager will review your situation to determine if your needs can be accommodated in his/her organization. They will consult with departmental human resources who will coordinate your return to work with your manager and caseworker, if you are receiving benefits through disability or long term disability.

Your manager will inform the Pay Centre of your return to work or rehabilitation schedule, once it has been approved by the employee, manager and human resources, if it differs from your pre-illness schedule. Your manager will also inform your departmental human resources, who in turn will advise the Pay Centre when you are no longer on a rehabilitation schedule. You will be required to provide the Pay Centre with a copy of the approved rehabilitation schedule from your insurer.

Disability and leaving the public service

You should immediately notify your manager if your physician has certified that your illness is continuing and you are unable to return to work. Your manager may grant you leave without pay for a period sufficient to enable you to make the necessary adjustments and preparation for separation from the public service.

Refer to Appendix B of the Directive on Leave and Special Working Arrangements for additional information.

Informing the Pay Centre

Your manager will have the departmental leave system updated with any additional approved leave. They will provide notification of your separation from the public service to your departmental human resources, who will subsequently provide the necessary information to the Pay Centre. The Pay Centre will, in turn, provide you with the information relative to your situation and separation from the public service

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