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Breaking News: Canada Doubles Bereavement Leave for Workers

A bipartisan initiative increases the amount of time to mourn the loss of a loved one

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Canadian workers are about to get more time off to help them deal with the death of a loved one.

In late November, the government quietly announced that it was amending the Canadian Labour Code to boost the number of days — from five to ten — that workers are entitled to take off upon the death of a family member. The rule also extends to those devoting time to the end-of-life care of family members, funeral services and other after-death ceremonies, and illnesses like depression related to the loss of a loved one.

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Employers are expected to allow employees to take the days off in the order of their choosing, and the right expires “six weeks after the latest of the days on which any funeral, burial or memorial service of the deceased person occurs.”The federal regulation does not stipulate that the days off must be paid. Regulations on bereavement leave vary from province to province. Most provinces do not force employers to offer paid leave; Québec, as well as Newfoundland and Labrador, offer one or two paid days at most.The amendment is the result of the work of an opposition politician, Edmonton Riverbend MP Matt Jeneroux, whose very personal experience inspired the move to give extra support to grieving Canadians.

As reported by Politico Canada, after graduating from university, Jeneroux recounts that he found himself working a demanding yet unstable job, and chose that job over spending more quality time with family."I made the decision to stay at work, competitive to the end, to try to get one of those jobs — which I got," Jeneroux said. "But I regret to this day that I didn't get the opportunity to see my grandma in her final moments."Contact us for more information

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