Rationale for Action:
It is time to end UNPAID LEAVES and FINANCIAL PENALTIES that are imposed on caregivers who take time away from work to nurse Mom/Dad to recovery or to the end of their lives. Their reality requires immediate redress:
A. ‘Compassion Care Benefits’ that are available through the Federal government, are very restrictive. This program limits eligibility for its Employment Insurance benefits to people who “have to be away from work temporarily to provide care or support to a family member who is gravely ill and who has a significant risk of death within 26 weeks (six months)”. This “Ok, you can watch your Mom die at home in your care but she has 26 weeks to do it in!” mentality is simply unacceptable.
B. Provincially, the Ontario Standards Act also penalizes government employees with up to 26 weeks of UNPAID LEAVE should they want to care for their family members. Caregivers are not taking sabbaticals. They are caring for loved ones. Penalizing them with a 26-week cut in pay is unacceptable.
C. As for self-employed Canadians, they must put their business enterprises on hold and suffer from loss of income when they decide to look after their parents on a full-time basis. This is unfair when you compare this to the Maternity/Paternity EI Leave benefits that younger Canadians enjoy.
We ask the Federal Government to support family caregivers to their elderly parents by implementing CEPL: Caregivers to Elderly Parents Leave!