Sick Leave

What is sick leave?

Sick leave is the period of time an employee is permitted to be absent from work without loss of salary by virtue of being sick, disabled, exposed to contagious disease, or because of an accident for which compensation is not payable under the Worker’s Compensation Act.

Am I entitled to take sick leave?

Your collective agreement or employment policy specifies the types of leave you are entitled to, including sick leave.

What happens if a member of my family is sick?

In the case of illness of an immediate family member a regular or continuing employee is entitled to use annual sick leave up to a maximum as outlined in the relevant collective agreement or employment policy. The following provisions apply:

  • the family member must reside on an ongoing basis in the employee’s household, or must reside with the employee permanently;
  • no one else at home other than the employee can provide for the needs of the person; and,
  • the employee must have a minimum of twelve days available each year for the purpose of personal sick leave.
In situations where the family member is terminally ill, compassionate leave for a more extended leave may be available.  Review the applicable collective agreement or contact your HR Advisor for further information in these circumstances.

Am I able to take time off work to attend medical or dental appointments?

Where it is not possible for employees to schedule medical and/or dental appointments outside regularly scheduled working hours, reasonable time off for appointments for employees and for dependent children is permitted.  Employees must submit a Request for Leave through ELMS, found in My Okanagan, for any absence exceeding one hour and the absence will be charged against the employee’s sick leave credits.

What happens if I run out of sick time?

Employees who suffer a prolonged illness and use up all of their sick leave credits are either permitted to borrow against future sick leave credits or other employees may voluntarily donate a specific number of days from their accumulated sick leave credits for use by the ill employee.

Specific entitlements regarding the Right to Borrow Sick Leave and Voluntary Sharing of Sick Leave are outlined in the relevant collective agreement or employment policy or your Human Resources Advisor.

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Am I ever paid out for sick leave and if so, when and how?

Upon retirement, specific employee groups are granted a leave or, at the employee’s option, a cash payout of a portion of their accumulated sick leave. Specific entitlements regarding retirement leave and/or payout of sick leave are outlined in the relevant collective agreement or employment policy.

Who is responsible for tracking my sick leave time?

Employees, in conjunction with their supervisors, are responsible for ensuring that a Request for Leave through ELMS is completed for each sick leave absence. Employees are encouraged to check the online leave reporting system (ELMS) to ensure that it accurately reflects each absence. 

How do I report a sick leave?

Employees absent because of illness must advise their supervisor as soon as possible, by no later than the commencement of their first missed shift/class, of the nature and duration of the absence.

Complete a Request for Leave through ELMS, found in My Okanagan, immediately upon your return to work.

If requested, attach any documentation to the Request for Leave form (e.g., a doctor’s note) and submit it to your supervisor for signature and approval.

Will I need to provide a doctor's note?

You may be required, at the College's request, to provide a doctor’s note and/or supporting documentation supporting your sick leave absence. It is important to note that you are responsible for paying all fees or costs related to providing notes and the completion of forms that your physician may choose to charge you.

How can I check my leave on the web?

You can view an on-line summary of your leave balances through My Okanagan. Please refer to the Vacation Leave FAQ for more information and instructions.

What happens if my records don't match those on the leave reporting system?

Please contact your HR Advisor.

You can submit an amended Request for Leave through ELMS, identifying the discrepancy and requesting clarification or an amendment.

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