submitted by The Employment Standards Branch
An employee, if eligible, is entitled to temporary leaves of absence called special leaves. An eligible employee who requests a special leave must be granted that leave by the employer. While on special leave, the employee continues to be employed by the employer.
An employee is entitled to time off to deal with the consequences of domestic violence, intimate partner violence or sexual violence. The leave provides up to three days paid leave and an additional seven days of unpaid leave in a 12-month period. An employee needs three months of continuous employment with an employer to be eligible for this leave. The leave can be taken all at once, or an employee can choose to take the leave intermittently on an as-needed basis.
New regulations provide details on the purposes for which this new leave can be taken. For example, an employee may need to use the leave to seek medical attention for a physical or psychological injury caused by domestic violence, intimate partner violence or sexual violence, or to obtain services from a victim services organization.
The regulations require employers to maintain confidentiality of the employee in relation to this leave. However, employers can ask employees to provide written evidence supporting the employee’s need for the leave from certain specified persons, including social workers, psychologists, medical practitioners, as well as others. The regulations also clarify how to calculate the rate of pay for an employee using the paid portion of the leave if that employee does not work regular hours.
This article provides only general information. Details of the Prince Edward Island Employment Standards Act and Regulations can be obtained by contacting the Employment Standards Branch at 902-368-5550 (toll free at 800-333-4362) or visit www.peiemploymentstandards.com.
The Branch is located in the Sherwood Business Centre, 2nd floor, 161 St. Peter’s Road, Charlottetown.