Government of Canada proposes enhanced compassionate care benefits

Proposal would expand compassionate care leave to 26 weeks
||Last Updated: 05/19/2015

The federal government recently announced a proposal for increased financial support for individuals taking care of sick family members.

The benefits — commonly known as compassionate care benefits — are provided through the Employment Insurance program and are available to individuals temporarily away from work to care for family members facing a significant risk of death.

Effective Jan. 3, 2016, the proposed enhancements would allow claimants to collect up to 26 weeks of benefits. Currently, employees are eligible to claim a maximum of six weeks.

Under the proposed enhancements employees will be able to take benefits within a period of 52 weeks, expanded from the current period of 26 weeks. Additionally, employees would be able to share the benefits between family members.

The proposal was made through the 2015 Economic Action Plan (EAP). The plan would invest up to an additional $37 million annually in expanding compassionate care benefits.

“Our government is committed to supporting Canadian families, especially in times of need,” said Candice Bergen, minister of state for social development.

“Every family can experience difficult periods of illness and loss. These changes ensure that families are able to care for their loved ones when needed.”

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