Ask the ExpertCategory: QuestionsCrime Related Child Death leave
hri_Admin Staff asked 4 years ago

As most provinces now have provisions regarding Crime Related Child Death or Disappearance and protected leaves, I had a few questions regarding what happens if the parents of the child are suspects in the death or disappearance. Legislation states that the parent is not entitled to the protected leave in this situations, but what would the employer do? Until found guilty, the employer cannot assume guilt.

1 Answers
Glenn Demby Staff answered 4 years ago

The employment standards laws don’t say the employee must be guilty, only that he/she be a suspect. Of course, that’s not the kind of thing you can easily find out.
But there is some room for maneuver. Any jurisdiction that allows crime related death/disappearance leave would require the employee to provide notification of leave dates and expected return to work. The key is whether as in some jurisdictions like Ontario, employers are also allowed to require the employee to provide “reasonable evidence” of the need for leave (ON ESA, Sec. 49.6(14)). Such evidence could theoretically include assurances that the employee or spouse is NOT a suspect. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any guidance on this. If you tell me which province you’re in, I may be able to dig a bit deeper. Glenn

Melissa Sydor replied 4 years ago

Thank you. I am in Alberta, but I represent Employers across all provinces.