Employees who are reservists and who are deployed to an international operation or to an operation within Canada that is or will be providing assistance in dealing with an emergency or its aftermath (including search and rescue operations, recovery from national disasters such as flood relief, military aid following ice storms, and aircraft crash recovery) are entitled under the ESA to unpaid leave for the time necessary to engage in that operation. In the case of an operation outside Canada, the leave would include pre-deployment and post-deployment activities that are required by the Canadian Forces in connection with that operation.

In order to be eligible for reservist leave, you must have worked for your employer for at least six consecutive months. Generally, reservists must provide their employer with reasonable written notice of the day on which they will begin and end the leave.

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 one pay period, whichever is later. Also, the employer is not required to continue any benefit plans during the employee's leave. However, if the employer postpones the employee's reinstatement, the employer is required to pay the employer's share of premiums for certain benefit plans related to his or her employment and allow the employee to participate in such plans for the period the return date is postponed.