3. Find out about the rights you have while on leave

Your employer does not have to pay you during a leave, but if you’ve worked enough hours to qualify for Employment Insurance (EI), you may be able to get EI benefits for some of the time you’re on leave.

You can fill out an application online or at a Service Canada Centre.

Working while you’re on leave

If you do any work for your employer, they might be able to say that you have ended your leave. This could happen even if you do only part-time or temporary work for them. If this happens to you, you may want to get legal help

You can work for a different employer while you’re on leave and this will not end your leave. 

But if you do any work for any employer while you’re on leave, your EI benefits can be affected.

And if you work during your leave, this does not make your leave any longer.

What your employer owes you while you’re on leave

Your employer must continue to give you the benefits you usually get, as long as you continue to pay any amounts that you usually pay. Examples of benefits are health coverage and pension plans.

If you’ve passed the probationary period in your job, your seniority or length of service will continue to increase while you’re on leave.

If you were still on probation when you started your leave, you’ll have to complete it when you return to work.

While you’re on leave, you continue to earn the right to take time off for vacation. But you don’t earn vacation pay if your employer isn’t paying you during your leave.

Your right to return to work

When your leave is over, your employer must give you your old job back, with no cut in pay.

If the pay for your job went up when you were on leave, you must get the higher amount.

If your old job no longer exists, your employer must give you a similar job and pay you at least the same amount as you were paid in your old job.

If your employer does not respect your rights

See Step 5 for more information.

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