NEWS RELEASE: Changes to Bill C-220 will benefit Canadians coping with loss

February 25, 2021

OTTAWA, ON – Today, amendments to a Conservative Private Members’ Bill that would extend bereavement time for some Canadian employees were approved by members of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA).

These changes to Bill C-220, originally introduced by MP Matt Jeneroux, would allow for federally-regulated private sector Canadian employees to take a leave of absence from their job for up to 10 days following the death of a family member. The 10 days can be taken within six weeks of the funeral of the deceased family member.

Bill C-220 originally proposed to extend the Compassionate Care Leave program, which federally-regulated employees can use to take up to 26 weeks off work to take care of a terminally ill loved one.

“The changes to this bill will benefit more working Canadians in giving them extra time off in that tough period following a loved one’s death, and also allows them flexibility in when to take the days off,” said Jeneroux, who represents the riding of Edmonton Riverbend.

“Only a small percentage of Canadians use Compassionate Care Leave and the changes proposed by the committee would benefit more employees, especially those who experience the sudden death of a family member, so I think this a great amendment to the bill.”

The bill will now return to the House of Commons for a third reading and vote. If it passes that vote, it will be referred to the Senate, where it will repeat the same process of three readings.

If the bill receives royal assent, the changes will come into force approximately three months after receiving royal assent to give employers sufficient time to adjust their workplace policies and work with unions to modify collective agreements to align with the changes.

Bill C-220 is now known as An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (bereavement leave).

“Grief is something that we will all experience in our lifetimes, unfortunately. The ongoing pandemic has really demonstrated the importance of grief supports, so these amendments are quite timely and will help millions of Canadian families during some tough times,” said Jeneroux.