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Can I take a few days off for illnesses and other personal emergencies?
Ontario's Employment Standards Act (ESA) gives some workers time off for illnesses and certain kinds of personal emergencies. The time off is called a “leave of absence” or a leave.
If you're covered by the ESA, you may be able to take the following short leaves of absence each calendar year:
- 3 days of sick leave
- 3 days of family responsibility leave
- 2 days of bereavement leave
- 10 days of domestic or sexual violence leave
A calendar year means between January 1 and December 31. But you get the same number of days each year even if you started working for your employer partway through the year.
The ESA says that you have the right to be paid for the first 5 days of domestic or sexual violence leave each year.
The ESA does not say that your employer has to pay you for any other time that you take as a leave.
But you might have the right to be paid if:
Taking part of a day as leave
If you only take part of a day, your employer can count it as one of your leave days.
For example, if you go to work and leave early because you're sick, your employer can count this as one of your 3 days of sick leave for the year.
If you take part of a day off, your employer still has to pay you your wages for the hours you worked.
If you need more time off
You might have the right to a longer leave of absence, including domestic or sexual violence leave of up to 15 weeks.