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Alberta Personal and Family Responsibility Leave Guidelines


Employees in Alberta are entitled to certain job-protected leaves of absence as outlined in the Employment Standards Code (ESC). This includes Personal and Family Responsibility Leave, which allows employees to take time off work for personal reasons without losing their job.

What is Personal and Family Responsibility Leave?

Alberta employees can take up to five days of unpaid personal and family responsibility leave each calendar year. Eligible employees may use this leave to take care of their personal health or to meet family responsibilities.  This includes personal sickness, medical emergencies, personal emergencies, short-term care of a family member and caregiving responsibilities related to the education of a child.

Who is eligible for Personal and Family Responsibility Leave?

In order to be eligible for personal and family responsibility leave, an employee must be employed with the employer for at least 90 days. Employees who have less than 90 days of employment may still be granted leave, however, employers are not required to do this by the Employment Standards Code. The Employment Standards Code allows employees to use personal and family responsibility leave to care for themselves or a family member. According to the ESC, the following are considered family members:

  • Partner (spouse, adult interdependent, or common-law)
  • Parents, foster parents, guardians
  • Children, foster children, wards, partner’s children
  • Siblings
  • Grandchildren
  • Grandparents
  • Any other person living with the employee as a member of the family


What do employers need to know about Personal and Family Responsibility Leave?

As an employer in Alberta, it is your responsibility to follow the guidelines for personal and family responsibility leave outlined in the ESC. Employees must give notice before taking leave, however, they are not required to provide documentation in order to take it. Employers can also establish their own policies around documentation for leave. Contact our HR experts at 1 (833) 247-3652 if your workplace does not yet have a policy in place for Personal and Family Responsibility Leave.

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