Bereavement Leave

Section 53 provides that employees are entitled to up to three days of unpaid leave on the death of a member of the employee’s immediate family.

Section 1 defines immediate family as the spouse, child, parent, guardian, sibling, grandchild or grandparent of an employee, and any person who lives with an employee as a member of the employee’s family. This definition does not include a parent-in-law unless that person lives with the employee as part of the employee’s family.

There is no requirement for an employee to give notice to the employer if he or she intends to take bereavement leave. The Branch has indicated that in its view, the leave should be taken within a reasonable time period. Further, the employee is not required to take all three days, nor does the leave have to be taken on consecutive days.

The entitlement to bereavement leave is not an annual entitlement. If an employee suffers more than one death in the family in one year, he or she would be entitled to bereavement leave for each of those deaths.

For more information visit the Interpretation Guidelines Manual – Section 53 and the Employment Standards Branch – Leaves Factsheet.

Information provided by Ryan Anderson, an employment lawyer with Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP. The information provided in this article is necessarily of a general nature and must not be regarded as legal advice. For more information about Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP, please visit