February 19, 2003by Israel Foulon LLP
Question: In Ontario , does an employee’s vacation time or sick day entitlements accrue while she is off on WSIB?
Answer: Whether or not the employee’s entitlement to vacation time or sick days will accumulate while she is off on WSIB insurance benefits will depend on if there is an employment agreement or collective agreement in place to which the employee is subject. If so any obligation on the part of the employer will be found in the employment agreement or collective agreement.
Where there is no employment agreement or collective agreement which governs the situation, the provisions of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) will apply. The WSIA does not provide for the accrual of sick credits, vacation credits or seniority while a worker is off on WSIB benefits.
But under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (Ontario), an employee is entitled to at least two weeks’ vacation time after each 12 months of employment, whether it be active or inactive employment.
Under the WSIA the employer is simply required to continue the employee’s employment benefits for the first year following the worker’s injury. This is, of course, provided the employer was making such contributions when the worker was injured and the worker maintains any contributions she is responsible for making during that period.
Employment benefits include payments made by the employer for: health care (such as extended health coverage, whether for the worker, her spouse or same-sex partner or dependent); life insurance; and pension benefits including RRSP contributions. But vacation credits, sick credits and seniority are not considered employment benefits for the purposes of the WSIA.
Peter Israel is the senior partner in the Toronto law firm of Israel Foulon LLP – Employment and Labour Lawyers. He can be reached at 416-640-1550 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A version of this article originally appeared in the Carswell publication, Canadian Employment Law Today