Benefits while on leave or layoff

Last updated: December 31, 2019

Benefits coverage continues for some approved leaves and may be purchased for other leaves.

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Long term disability coverage

Long Term Disability (LTD) coverage will not be available if you cannot return from your leave due to illness, unless you purchase coverage and meet the eligibility criteria to qualify for benefits.

You need to consider if you want to pay the premiums to have the option of applying for LTD in the event that you need it.

If you opt to continue LTD benefits, and pay the premium, you'll be eligible to apply for LTD if you're unable to return to work at the end of your leave.

You must make this decision at the beginning of your leave. You cannot retroactively opt for LTD coverage.

Benefits while on leave with pay

We will continue to fund your benefits coverage while you're on leave with pay, but you will continue to be responsible for the employee portions of any benefits that are employee paid (such as Employee Basic Life Insurance coverage above the employer paid portion; Optional Life Insurance coverage). 

Benefits while on leave with partial pay

We will continue to fund your benefits costs based on your reduced pay. If you wish to maintain full coverage for long term disability, you may choose to top-up your coverage to 100%.

If you've chosen to top up your coverage, full payment or monthly postdated cheques must be received within 30 days of the beginning of your leave in order to allow for processing time. If payment is not received within 30 days of the start of your leave, your benefits will continue to be funded based on your reduced pay, but will not be topped up to 100%.

Benefits while on leave without pay

Continuation of benefits coverage while on an unpaid leave of absence greater than 30 calendar days varies, depending on the type of leave that you're taking.

If the leave is included in Part 6 of the Employment Standards Act, benefits will be maintained with the exception of any employee paid Optional Life Insurance coverage that you had in place prior to the leave.

You can elect to maintain your Optional Life Insurance coverage by:

If you do not maintain your Optional Life Insurance benefits, they will be considered waived and should you wish to re-enrol, you will need to re-qualify and provide evidence of insurability.

Employment Standard Act leaves include:

  • Maternity and parental leave where you waive, are not eligible for or defer your allowance
  • Compassionate care leave
  • Leave respecting the disappearance of a child
  • Leave respecting the death of a child
  • Family caregiver leave (critical illness or injury leave)
  • Leave respecting domestic violence

For all other unpaid leaves of absence greater than 30 calendar days, benefits will not be maintained.

Benefits coverage may be purchased for up to 24 months while you're on leave without pay.

Benefits while on layoff

If you're laid off for one calendar month or more, benefits coverage can be continued for up to 6 months if you apply to continue coverage and pay the premiums. If you're recalled and have not lost seniority, you may be eligible for immediate reinstatement of benefits where re-qualification is not required.

If you would like to pay to maintain your benefits coverage, full payment or monthly postdated cheques must be received within 30 days of the beginning of your layoff to allow for processing time.

You'll be unable to continue your benefits coverage if payment is not received within 30 days of the beginning of your layoff.

Re-enrolment for benefits coverage upon return to work

If the leave is under 90 days, you must notify MyHR at 1-877-277-0772.

Coverage will be reinstated with the same coverage and dependants as prior to commencement of leave, with the exception of Optional Life insurance coverage, if not maintained.

If the leave is over 90 days and coverage has not been maintained, you must reapply for the applicable benefits program upon return to work. Evidence of Insurability may be required to reinstate coverage.

It's your responsibility to reapply for coverage.

The benefits plans will be reinstated on the appropriate date pending the required receipt of your application or notification, and in accordance with benefits policy.