Can I take time off for sickness or personal emergencies?

Find out about leave for a family emergency or death

Ontario now gives up to 3 paid sick days off for people who have to take time off work because of COVID-19. Read Can I get paid sick days if I have COVID-19? for more information.

There are other also other leaves and benefits for people who have to take time off work because of COVID-19. See COVID 19 Employment and Work to learn more.

You may be able to take family responsibility leave or bereavement leave if you've worked for your employer for at least 2 weeks in a row.

Family responsibility leave

You can use up to 3 days of family responsibility leave because a family member:

  • is sick or injured
  • has a medical emergency
  • has an “urgent matter”

What’s an “urgent matter”

Something is an urgent matter if:

  • it was not planned and it's out of your control, and
  • there could be serious problems if nothing is done to deal with it.

For example, it might be an urgent matter if your babysitter cancels and there's no one to look after your child.

Bereavement leave

You can use up to 2 days of bereavement leave because a family member has died.

Who’s included as a family member

The (ESA) includes the following people as family members for family responsibility leave or bereavement leave:

  • your spouse, including a common-law or same-sex partner
  • your child or spouse's child, including a stepchild or foster child
  • your child's spouse
  • your grandchild or spouse's grandchild, including a step-grandchild
  • your brother or sister
  • your parent or spouse's parent, including a step-parent or foster parent
  • your grandparent or spouse's grandparent, including a step-grandparent
  • a relative who depends on you to care for them or give them personal assistance
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