Ask the ExpertLeave Related to Critical Illness
hri_Admin Staff asked 4 years ago

Hello, 
Recently in Manitoba a new leave came in to place- the Leave Related to Critical Illness. I am having a hard time seeing how this leave differs from the compassionate Care Leave. I understand that the length of time for the leave is different, but am not sure when an employee would go on one leave vs. the other. 
At first, it seemed like Compassionate Care Leave was when someone was most likely to pass within 26 weeks, and that critical illness was not necessarily an imminent passing. However, Manitoba Employment Standards website is defining Critically ill child/adult as: a person 18 years or older (or not if a child) with a life-threatening illness or injury. 
Any clarification would be much appreciated. 

1 Answers
Glenn Demby Staff answered 4 years ago

It IS confusing. The original critical care illness leave provision (ESC Sec. 59.8) provided up to 37 weeks’ unpaid leave to care for a critically ill child; the amendment, which took effect June 4, adds  up to 17 weeks to care for a critically ill adult. And, yes, employees already have right to take up to 28 weeks of compassionate care leave to care or support a family member–adult or child–expected to die within 26 weeks (Sec. 59.2). In other words, the leaves overlap.
So why bother creating the new leave, you’re wondering. It has to do, I believe, with the timing not the trigger. With compassionate care and critical illness, leave must end within 52 weeks. But new Sec. 59.8(9) says that if the kid or adult remains critically ill after the 52-week period, the employee gets ANOTHER leave (probably compassionate care) and the Section 59.8 critical illness leave provisions apply to that other leave. So basically, the compassionate care leave becomes an extension to the critical illness leave.
There are also differences in HOW each leave is taken. Critical illness leave can be taken in one or more periods of at least 1 week (Sec. 59.8(8)); compassionate care leave can be taken in no more than 2 installments of at least 1 week (Sec. 59.2(6)).
The other thing to keep in mind is that, theoretically, an employee could take BOTH leaves within the same year–compassionate care followed by critical illness.
At the end of the day, the critical illness leave is not so much a new leave as an injection of flexibility and extension of leave time to care for sick family members. Hope that helps and sorry for the delay in responding. Glenn

 

Serena Traa replied 4 years ago

Thanks so much! Much appreciated