Your child has chicken pox and can’t go to school. Your elderly parent slips, falls and needs medical attention. At some point, nearly all of us have needed time off work to look after sick loved ones.
Until recently, McGill employees were required to take personal or vacation days to meet these obligations. But now, as part of a 17-month pilot project, some employees can use up to three of their nine sick days to care for a sick child, spouse, parent, grandparent or sibling – even when the employees themselves are not sick.
The initiative – Family Days – was announced on January 10 as a way to give employees more flexibility in caring for sick relatives. Participation in the pilot project was offered to all employee groups with members who have access to paid sick days, and while unions have so far declined to join, McGill remains open to including their members should this change. In the meantime, Family Days will remain available to M and Excluded staff until May 31, 2019. At that time, we’ll assess its impact and determine whether modifications are needed and whether the initiative should continue permanently.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I take a Family Day?
You can take a Family Day the same way you’d take a regular sick day. Just inform your supervisor that you need to tend to one of the above-mentioned sick relatives.
May I take Family days in half-days?
While this is not specifically stipulated in our Disability Policy, the practice has been that sick days can be taken in half-days. The same principle will apply for Family Days.
May I use Family Days if I have unused vacation, personal days, etc.?
May I use Family Days to bring relatives to scheduled appointments (e.g. dentist, orthodontist, blood test, etc.)?
As with regular sick days, Family Days may only be used for unforeseen medical needs. For example, you could use a Family Day to bring your child to a clinic when she/he is ill, but not for his/her annual medical check-up.
What if I don’t take any Family Days?
The pilot project simply gives you additional flexibility for three of your nine existing sick days. If you don’t use any Family Days, absolutely nothing changes for you – you retain the same nine sick days you had before, with no changes to the parameters governing their use.
For more information:
Consult the main Family Days FAQ or contact the Human Resources Service Centre at 514-398-4747.