Leaves

Introduction

The University provides a variety of leaves to Veterinarians covered by the UGFA Unit 1 Collective Agreement. For ease of reference, we have provided information on each type of leave below.

In the event of a discrepancy between this page and the Collective Agreement, the Collective Agreement shall be considered the final authority.

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Professional Development Leave |  Paid Personal Leave  |  Maternity and Parental Leave  |  Leave without Pay  |  Vacation  |  Sick Leave  |  Family Medical Leave  |  Personal Emergency Leave  |  Court Leave  |  Political Leave  |  Statutory Leaves of Absence


Professional Development Leave for Veterinarians (Article 35)

Short-Term Professional Development Leave 

Veterinarians shall be permitted, when determined to be operationally and financially feasible by the Director, to attend conferences, workshops, seminars and meetings for professional development purposes and may consult sources outside the University, visit laboratories and/or libraries, and seek other sources of material for scholarly endeavours, with salary. 

For such leaves from his/her normal responsibilities, a Veterinarian shall make a written request for approval to the Director at least one (1) month in advance, and shall collaborate with the Director to make acceptable arrangements for meeting the Veterinarian's obligations and responsibilities. Such leave shall normally not exceed five (5) working days. The University will consider funding requests related to Professional Development Leave. 

Longer-Term Professional Development Leave

Continuing Appointment Veterinarians are eligible after six (6) years of continuous and satisfactory service and with the approval of the Director to make application for a Longer-Term Professional Development Leave. This leave is possible based on the merit of the Veterinarian's application and the availability of funding.  Such leave will be paid (for a maximum of one semester).  Application for such leave must be submitted in writing by the Veterinarian to the Director at least twelve (12) months prior to the intended start date of the Leave.  The written application will include:

  1. a statement of goals;
  2. a plan of scholarly activity and the benefit to the unit of such leave;
  3. an indication of when and where the leave is expected to be taken, the length of leave requested (to a maximum of one semester), and an indication that the proposed host institution is willing and able to host the Veterinarian's leave;
  4. recommendations for meeting the Veterinarian's obligations and responsibilities during the period of the approved leave. These can be developed in discussion with the Director.

The Director will consider the request and shall inform the Veterinarian of the decision to approve or deny the leave. Reasons for denial will also be given in the letter. Under circumstances determined by the operational needs and priorities of the unit, the Director may delay the commencement of an approved leave. Such delay, however, cannot be for a period exceeding two (2) years.

A Veterinarian whose application for Leave has not received approval may appeal to the Dean or Vice-President (Research).  

Within sixty (60) days of the conclusion of the leave, the Veterinarian will provide a written report to the Director describing what has been accomplished in relation to the plan submitted. 

It is expected that the Veterinarian will return to the University of Guelph for at least one (1) year following the leave.  

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Paid Personal Leave for Veterinarians (Article 36)

Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 48: Compassionate Leave, Continuing Appointment-track and Continuing Appointment Veterinarians shall be allowed up to three (3) days of PPL annually, which must be approved and granted by the Director, or designate.

PPL is intended to address unanticipated issues of an emergency nature that are not provided for in Article 48: Compassionate Leave. PPL is not intended for purposes of extending vacation or for the day prior to or following a paid holiday. PPL does not accrue from one year to another.

Each request shall indicate the reason for the request, providing as much notice as practicable. 

 

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Maternity and Parental Leaves (Article 43)

Eligibility and Application

Maternity and parental leaves are available to all Veterinarians except those holding Contractually Limited appointments. Veterinarians holding Contractually Limited appointments are eligible for all maternity/parental leave benefits with the exception of the supplemental income benefit.

Individuals talking maternity/parental leave shall normally give three months' written notice to the Director or designate. Where both parents are represented by UGFA Unit 1 and are qualified to take maternity/parental leave, the leave may be shared.  In this case, both shall provide notification to their respective Dean, University Librarian, or, in the case of Veterinarians, Director, or designate three (3) months prior to the commencement of the leave. The combines leave provision provided to both shall not exceed fifty-two (52) weeks of maternity/parental leave. Additional unpaid parental leave may be requested as per 44.14. The notice periods above may be waived if the Veterinarian stops working as a result of complications with the pregnancy or because the child comes into the care or custody of the parent sooner than expected.

Leave Provisions

Maternity Leave

Upon the birth of a child, a Veterinarian shall be entitled to up to seventeen (17) weeks of maternity leave as per the Employment Standards Act.

Parental Leave

For a Veterinarian who has taken maternity leave as provided for under Article 44.5, the Veterinarian shall also be entitled to up to an additional thirty-five (35) weeks of leave as per the Employment Standards Act. For a Veterinarian who is not eligible to take maternity leave under Article 44.5 (e.g., father, same-sex partner, or adoptive parent), the Veterinarian shall be entitled to up to thirty-seven (37) weeks of parental leave as per the Employment Standards Act.

Supplemental Income Benefit

Veterinarians must apply for, and qualify for, and receive, Employment Insurance (EI) benefits to receive supplemental income benefits from the University. To be eligible to receive a supplemental income benefit, a Veterinarian shall provide appropriate documentation of the birth or adoption of a child and the receipt of EI benefits to Human Resources. A Veterinarian disentitled or disqualified from receiving EI benefits is not eligible to receive supplemental income benefits from the University. Exceptions to this will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

During the period of maternity and/or parental leave as specified above, an eligible Veterinarian shall receive from the University:

  1. for the first two (2) weeks, 100% of his/her normal salary, less any applicable EI weekly earnings;
  2. for up to a maximum of twenty-eight (28) additional weeks of maternity and/or parental leave, an amount equal to 95% of his/her normal salary, less any applicable EI weekly earnings; 
  3. for any remaining period of parental leave beyond thirty (30) weeks, supplemental income benefits equal to 25% of her/his weekly EI earnings but no more than 100% of his/her normal salary, less any applicable EI weekly earnings.

The thirty-five (35) weeks of supplemental income benefit provided for maternity and/or parental leave under b) and c) above may be shared between eligible employees (i.e., one parent may take 20 weeks, and the other may take 15 weeks, or any combination thereof).

Additional Unpaid Parental Leave

All Veterinarians are eligible to apply for and be considered for unpaid parental leave. Unpaid parental leave is intended to accommodate employees who are not eligible for the above leave provisions or for those employees who require additional time to care for newborn or newly adopted child(ren) than provided for under the Employment Standards Act

On receipt of appropriate documentation or confirmation of the birth or adoption of a child, the University will grant thirty-seven (37) weeks of unpaid parental leave to a Veterinarian. The same notification provisions apply to unpaid leave. 

  • For those Veterinarians eligible for and who have taken parental leave, any unpaid parental leave will commence immediately following the parental leave.
  • Unpaid parental leave is available to be shared between both parents.
  • Unpaid parental leave is not available when an employee establishes a spousal relationship with an individual who already has a child(ren) and the employee subsequently adopts the child(ren).
  • Participation in the University Group Insurance Benefits may be continued while a Veterinarian is on unpaid parental leave on a normal cost-sharing arrangement. 
  • Additional unpaid leave may be requested by a Veterinarian under the provisions of Article 45: Leaves of Absence. Such request is made to the Director or designate. 

General Provisions

  • A Veterinarian who has taken maternity and/or parental leave and/or unpaid parental leave will have academic decisions related to continuing appointment and promotion deferred by one year for each such leave. Such a deferral shall be granted automatically, unless an employee requests to have the deferral waived.
  • A Veterinarian on maternity and/or parental leave will continue to receive University benefits while on leave on a normal cost-sharing basis. Participation in the Pension Plan is optional.
  • Should a pregnancy result in medical complications before or after the maternity leave, the provisions of Article 47: Sick Leave shall apply. 
  • It is expected that a Veterinarian will return to employment at the University following a maternity and/or parental leave.
  • Upon return to work, a Veterinarian who has taken maternity/parental leave shall resume his/her position at the same rank and his/her normal salary and benefits, including any intervening salary and benefits adjustments provided for under the Collective Agreement.

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Leave without Pay (Article 45)

Veterinarians may apply for a Leave of Absence without pay. An application for such a Leave will be given due consideration and may be granted where the University determines that the leave will not interfere with operational requirements.

A Leave of Absence without pay shall not normally exceed one year. This restriction may be modified in individual cases by the Provost, on recommendation from the Director. In all cases of Contractually Limited Veterinarians, a leave will not extend the duration of the term of appointment and will not exceed the end date of the term of appointment.

While a Veterinarian is on a Leave of Absence without pay, the University will not contribute towards the costs of benefits. The Veterinarian may elect to pay both the University and Employee costs of benefits during the period of Leave.

Any application for a Leave of Absence shall be made by the Veterinarian to the Director. The application shall describe the purpose and duration of the leave. A Veterinarian will apply in writing at least six (6) months before the proposed leave is to take effect. In the case of unforeseen events/circumstances, a Veterinarian shall be permitted to apply for a Leave of Absence less than six (6) months before it would begin and this application will be given due consideration.

The Director shall consult with the person to whom the Veterinarian reports. The Director shall then approve or deny the application. Any decision not to approve an application shall be accompanied by written reasons.

While on a Leave of Absence, Veterinarians are not eligible for consideration for Promotion and/or Continuing Appointment. This restriction may be modified in individual cases by the Provost, on recommendation from the Director or designate, at the request of the Veterinarian. In the case of a Veterinarian on a Continuing Appointment-track Appointment, a Leave of Absence beyond six (6) months will extend the Continuing Appointment-track Appointment by a period of one year. Study/Research Leave credit shall not be earned during a Leave of Absence without pay.

A Veterinarians, upon returning from a Leave of Absence, shall be placed, at a minimum, at the same rank and appointment type as held at the commencement of the leave. Upon returning from a leave, a Veterinarian will receive salary of not less than that received immediately prior to the period of the leave, adjusted by any base salary adjustments that may have taken place in the interval.

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Vacation (Article 46)

A Veterinarian's vacation entitlement shall be based on service during each Academic Year. 

Vacation leave for Veterinarians appointed on a contract of twelve (12) months or more shall be: 

  1. from the first year up to and including the eighth (8) year of service, vacation entitlement will be twenty-two (22) days;
  2. from the beginning of the ninth (9) year up to and including the twentieth (20) year of service, twenty-five (25) days;
  3. from the beginning of the twenty-first (21) year and for all subsequent years, thirty (30) days. 

A Veterinarian appointed on a contract for less than twelve (12) months shall be paid a vacation payment in lieu of a paid vacation in the amount of 8% of salary earned.

Accrual of service commences on the first day of employment.  Veterinarians may utilize vacation credits, with approval, in advance of earning them with the understanding that upon termination of employment the value of any unearned vacation credits taken will be reimbursed to the University. A Veterinarian shall take vacation at a time or times agreeable to the person to whom he/she reports. There shall be no remuneration in excess of the annual salary in the event that a Veterinarian chooses to work through all or part of his/her scheduled vacation period.

It is expected that a Veterinarian will take his/her vacation in the year in which it is earned. A Veterinarian may, however, carry over unused vacation days, excepting the ten (10) days required by law, into the next Academic Year, but the total vacation days carried over shall not exceed thirty (30) days. Salary shall not be paid in lieu of unused vacation time.

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Sick Leave (Article 47)

A Veterinarian who is absent and therefore unable to fulfill his/her responsibilities because of illness or injury shall advise the person to whom he/she reports as soon as reasonably possible of his/her absence and the expected date of return to work. The Veterinarian will provide notification as soon as reasonably possible of any change to the expected date of return to work. The University reserves the right to require medical documentation of illness or injury whenever the University reasonably considers such documentation necessary.

Continuing-track/Continuing Veterinarians

A Veterinarian who holds a Continuing-track or Continuing Appointment who is absent from work as a result of illness or injury up to a maximum of ninety (90) consecutive calendar days shall receive his/her actual salary and benefits except in the following circumstances:

  1. if there is a recurrence of the same or related illness or injury within thirty (30) calendar days following a Veterinarian's return to work on a full-time basis from Sick Leave, the Veterinarian is entitled to the unused portion of the original ninety (90) consecutive calendar day period of Sick Leave;
  2. if a Veterinarian is able to return to work on a part-time basis within the ninety (90) consecutive calendar day period, the ninety (90) consecutive calendar days will be extended by the amount of the time actually worked by the Veterinarian during this ninety (90) consecutive calendar day period; or
  3. if a Veterinarian becomes ill or injured while on Consultative Leave such that the Consultative Leave cannot be completed, the Veterinarian shall go on Sick Leave and the provisions of the Consultative Leave shall cease to apply.  If 50% or more of the leave is unable to be completed, the Veterinarian may apply to the Director for deferral of the leave.

Contractually Limited Veterinarians

A contractually limited Veterinarian who is absent from work as a result of illness or injury shall receive his/her actual salary up to a maximum of fifteen (15) days in any twelve (12) month period. If a contractually limited Veterinarian's absence due to illness or injury continues beyond fifteen (15) days, the Veterinarian will remain on Sick Leave, but without salary. Following an absence of greater than ninety (90) consecutive calendar days, the Veterinarian may qualify for Long Term Disability as outlined in this Article. For continuation of benefits while on unpaid Sick Leave, the Veterinarian shall pay both the University and Employee premiums.

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) Benefits

A Veterinarian  who holds a Continuing-track or Continuing Appointment who is absent from work as a result of illness or injury arising out of and in the course of employment shall be paid his/her actual salary by the University for up to the first ninety (90) consecutive calendar days of any such absence. During this period, any benefits from the WSIB shall be paid to the University. If the Veterinarian continues to be entitled to such benefits after ninety (90) days, the Veterinarian shall receive benefits directly from the WSIB.

A Contractually Limited Veterinarian who is absent from work as a result of illness or injury arising out of and in the course of employment shall be paid his/her actual salary by the University for up to the first fifteen (15) days of any such absence. During this period, any benefits from the WSIB shall be paid to the University. If the Veterinarian continues to be entitled to such benefits after fifteen (15) days, he/she shall receive benefits directly from the WSIB.

Long Term Disability (LTD)

To ensure a timely application and consideration for Long Term Disability benefits, the person to whom the Veterinarian reports will inform Human Resources (Occupational Health and Wellness) as soon as possible of the absence due to illness or injury.

If a Veterinarian's absence due to illness or injury continues beyond the ninety (90) consecutive calendar days of Sick Leave, the Veterinarian may qualify for LTD only in accordance with and to the extent of the terms of the legislation and/or LTD benefits policy in effect.

When a Veterinarian who holds a Continuing-track or Continuing Appointment and is absent due to illness or injury beyond ninety (90) consecutive calendar days of Sick Leave but does not qualify for LTD, the Veterinarian will remain on Sick Leave following the ninety (90) consecutive calendar days, but without salary. For continuation of benefits while on unpaid Sick Leave, the Veterinarian shall pay both the University and Employee premiums.

For Contractually Limited Veterinarians, if eligible, LTD benefits will cease at five (5) years. If the end of the contract has been exceeded at the time LTD benefits cease, the Veterinarian will be deemed terminated.

During the period of LTD, the University shall pay the employer and employee contributions for all benefits except optional benefits. Pension contributions and basic life insurance premium contributions are based on the Veterinarian's pre-disability salary. During periods of LTD, there will be no service accrual toward eligibility for Study/Research Leave, Consultative Leave or Transition Leave.

Return to Work

In all cases, the return-to-work program shall be consistent with the Parties’ duty to accommodate in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code. Before a return to work following an absence of more than fourteen (14) calendar days due to illness or injury, or where the University has reason to believe that the Veterinarian may require accommodation, the University may require documentation stating that the Veterinarian is able to return to work without restrictions or that he/she is able to return to work, with the nature and duration of any work restrictions described. If a Veterinarian is to return to work with restrictions, the Director or designate, shall contact Occupational Health and Wellness before the Veterinarian's return to work to meet and discuss any accommodations required for his/her return to work.

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Family Medical Leave (Article 48)

Purpose 

Family Medical Leave may be taken to provide care or support to family members to whom a qualified health practitioner has issued a certificate indicating that he/she has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death occurring within a period of twenty-six (26) weeks. The medical condition and risk of death must be confirmed in a certificate issued by a qualified health practitioner.

Process for Approval

Veterinarians requiring Family Medical Leave shall notify the Director or designate, as soon as possible, providing the certificate (per Article 48.1) issued by a qualified health practitioner. A family medical leave may last up to eight (8) weeks within a specified twenty-six (26) week period and does not have to be taken consecutively. Such Leave will be with pay.


Personal Emergency Leave (Article 48)

A Veterinarian is entitled to a maximum of ten (10) days of Personal Emergency Leave. Personal Emergency Leave may be taken for such grounds as injury, medical emergency, death, illness, or other urgent matters relating to family members (per Article 48.4). The Veterinarian shall inform the Director or designate, as soon as possible of the need to take such leave. A Veterinarian may, subject to written approval by the Director, receive pay during such leave under the terms of this Article. The Director shall determine the appropriate duration of the Leave, to a maximum of ten (10) days, after consultation with the Veterinarian. Such Leave will be with pay. 

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Court Leave (Article 49)

Veterinarian who are called for jury duty, or issued a summons by a court or any body in Canada with powers of subpoena, shall, if their attendance requires them to be absent from their scheduled responsibilities, notify the Director or designate, as soon as possible after its receipt. They shall supply the Director or designate with a copy of the summons.

Leave shall be considered leave with pay provided that the Veterinarian is not currently on a Leave of Absence without salary and that upon return he/she provides the Director or designate, verification from the court or other body stating the period of jury duty or subpoenaed service.

This Article does not apply to Veterinarians summoned to any Arbitration proceeding between the University and the Association.

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Political Leave (Article 50)

A Veterinarian who becomes a candidate for full-time public office shall be granted, upon request, a paid temporary Political Leave for the period from the issuance of the election writ to the day following the election. The Veterinarian shall, in consultation with the person to whom he/she reports, make efforts to ensure that, during the period of the leave, the effects of his/her absence upon responsibilities and assigned duties may be minimized. 

A Veterinarian campaigning for election to public office shall speak and write as a private citizen and not as a representative of the University.

A Veterinarian applying for leave under this Article shall give reasonable notice of his/her intention to stand for public office to the Director.

A Continuing Veterinarian who is elected to full-time public office shall be granted leave without salary and benefits for the duration of the term of public office.  While the Veterinarian is on leave without pay, the University will not contribute towards the costs of benefits, including pension. The Veterinarian may elect to pay the cost of benefits and/or pension contributions during the period of the leave. The leave shall end when the Veterinarian's first public office term expires or if the Veterinarian successfully seeks subsequent terms of office. Any extension of leave beyond five (5) full years will be at the discretion of the Provost.

The Veterinarian, upon making a request to the Director returning to the workplace no later than two (2) weeks following the expiry of the Leave, shall be reinstated to his/her previous Appointment.

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Statutory Leaves of Absence

The University will comply with and provide all leaves as required by the Employment Standards Act, 2000, as amended from time to time. This includes, but is not limited to the following:

Organ donor leave
Family caregiver leave
Critical illness leave
Child death leave
Crime-related child disappearance leave
Domestic or sexual violence leave
Emergency Leave, declared emergencies

Employees are permitted to take any of the aforementioned leaves of absence, so long as they comply with the eligibility provisions as outlined in the Employment Standards Act, 2000. Any type of leave taken requires the employee to provide notice to his/her supervisor. 

For more information about a leave, please discuss with your supervisor or the Human Resources Department. Further Information can be found at https://www.ontario.ca/document/your-guide-employment-standards-act

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