Know your rights about sick leave FAQ
If you become ill or injured and need to take a leave from work, a number of provisions outline the process in the article Income Security of the Faculty Collective Agreement.
Q1: What if I get sick or injured?
Sick Leave is available for a maximum of 15 consecutive calendar weeks, 105 consecutive days, and for a full-time member you will receive your actual salary. If you return to work not having used up all 105 days but experience a recurrence of your illness or a discovery that your injury is more debilitating than you realized, you can go back on Sick Leave for the unused portion of the original 105 days.
You are required to inform your Dean as soon as you can about the reasons for your absence, and the expected date of return – and if that changes, of the changed date. The Employer may also request medical documentation or an examination (at its expense) concerning your ability to carry out your academic responsibilities, though no health care professional (and especially those on campus) can be asked to divulge any more information than is necessary to respond to the question as to your academic responsibilities. After you have been away for one week, you should on request from the Employer provide a statement indicating that you are under the care of a health care professional recognized by OHIP, and indicating your estimated date of return to work and your ability to carry out your responsibilities (i.e. work).
If you can return to work part-time during the 15-week period, then the Sick Leave will be extended, depending upon how much you work. If you cannot return to work after 15 weeks, then skip ahead to the Long-Term Disability question.
Q2: I’m a Part-Time Member. Do I get Sick Leave?
Yes, you also receive your actual salary up to a maximum of 15 calendar weeks in any 12-month period, though you are limited to a maximum of eight calendar weeks (56 days) in any Term.
Q3: What if I get injured while at work?
That falls under two articles (“Health and Safety” and “Income Security”), as well as the Occupational Health and Safety Act. You need to report any illness or injury arising from your employment to your Dean as soon as possible by completing the accident report form found on the following site: https://www.uwo.ca/hr/safety/topics/accident.html. The immediate obligation of the Employer is to offer options for modified work. If you need to be absent from work because of a medically-supported illness or injury arising from your employment, you are eligible to receive the standard sick leave of up to 15 weeks. . If you are unable to return to work following the 15 weeks, you are eligible to apply for LTD through Manulife; WSIB and Manulife work together to determine income support, either partial or full LTD depending on functional ability to perform work tasks.
Q4: I’m a Full-Time Member who has completed 15 consecutive weeks of Sick Leave but am not getting any better. What now?
You may be entitled to Long-Term Disability, depending on legislation and the current benefits policy. While you are on Long-Term Disability your other benefits will continue to be paid by the Employer until age 65.
Q5: I’ve been on Sick Leave and/or Long-Term Disability but need to return to work. However, I will need help. Can I get it?
There are specific return-to-work provisions which provide for any accommodation you may need, a collaborative return-to-work program involving Rehabilitation Services, and any restrictions that may be relevant. The university has a duty to accommodate you under the Ontario Human Rights Code, and the collective agreement provides for meetings, consultations with the Association as needed, and the development of appropriate arrangements for your return to work.
Created February 2022