Family Caregiver EI Benefits – Information for Administrators

In the February issue of Benefits FYI, we detailed the federal government’s new EI family caregiver benefits, which help families care for a critically ill/injured family member or person that considers you a family member. The new benefits were introduced on Dec. 3, 2017, and are offered in addition to EI compassionate care benefits.

Summary of Key Points

  • The EI family caregiver benefit for children and adults are offered in addition to compassionate care EI benefits. An employee may apply for family caregiver benefits to care for a critically ill/injured family member or person who considers them a family member, whereas compassionate care benefits apply if the employee is caring for a terminally ill family member or person who considers them a family member (must be significant risk of death within 26 weeks).
  • The BC Employment Standards Act currently provides eight weeks of job-protected leave for compassionate care, but does not include family caregiver leave. If an employee applies for family caregiving EI benefits, they will need to apply for a general unpaid leave and they will be responsible for paying the full cost of the benefits and pension they choose to maintain.

For HR Administrators

If you have an employee where the above scenarios or situations apply, please ensure that you correctly code the leave for Payroll purposes.

For example, if you have an employee applying for family caregiving EI benefits, please use the code Leave of Absence, Family Caregiver Leave (LOA/FAM) if you are using ePAF (for a staff leave) or paper form (for a faculty leave). A new code was created to ensure a Record of Employment would be generated and sent to Service Canada.

If the employee is applying for a compassionate care leave, please continue to use Leave of Absence, Compassionate Leave (LOA/COM) for the first eight weeks of leave and general unpaid (personal) leave for any additional leave.

If you have any questions or concerns about backfilling staff positions, please speak with your HR Associate or Advisor.

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