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Employees who are reservists have a right to an unpaid leave of absence if they will not be performing the duties of their position because of any of these reasons:

  • The employee is deployed to a Canadian Forces operation outside of Canada. This includes participation, whether inside or outside of Canada, in pre-deployment and post-deployment activities that are required by the Canadian Forces in connection with the operation.
  • The employee is deployed to a Canadian Forces operation inside Canada that is, or will be, providing assistance in dealing with an emergency or its aftermath, including search and rescue operations, and recovery from national disasters, such as flood relief, military aid following ice storms and aircraft crash recovery.
  • The employee is participating in Canadian Forces military skills training.

To be eligible for reservist leave, an employee must be employed by their employer for at least three consecutive months. Generally, reservists must provide their employer with reasonable advance notice in writing of the day on which they will begin and end the leave.

An employer may require an employee to provide evidence, reasonable in the circumstances, at a time, that is reasonable in the circumstances, that the employee is eligible for reservist leave. What is reasonable in the circumstances will depend on all the facts of the situation.

Employees on a reservist leave are entitled to be reinstated to the same position if it still exists or to a comparable position if it does not. Seniority and length of service credits continue to accumulate during the leave.

Unlike the case with other types of leave, an employer is entitled to postpone the employee's reinstatement for two weeks after the day on which the leave ends or until the first pay day after the leave ends, whichever is later.

An employee on reservist leave does not have the right to continue to participate in the benefit plans that employees on other statutory leaves do. The employer is not required to continue to make contributions to those plans during an employee’s reservist leave. However, if the employer postpones the employee's reinstatement, the employee is entitled to resume participating in the plans, and the employer is required to pay the employer's share of premiums for them, during the period the reinstatement is postponed.