Family Days: FAQ


Published: 10Jan2018

What is a Family Day?

As part of a 17-month pilot project that runs through May 31, 2019, MUNACA members and M and Excluded employees may use up to three of their nine paid sick days each year to care for certain sick relatives, even when the employees themselves are not ill.


For which Family members can I use a Family Day?

You may use them to care for your child, the child of your spouse, your spouse, your father, your mother, your brother, your sister or your grandparent.


How many Family Days are we entitled to?

Eligible employees with three or more sick days remaining as of January 1, 2018, may take up to three Family Days between January 1 and May 31, 2018. For the period from June 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019, they may also use three of their nine sick days as Family Days.


Who is eligible for Family Days?

Participation in the Family Days pilot project was offered to all employee groups with members who have access to paid sick days. Unions initially declined to include their members in this pilot project, and Family Days were therefore available only to M and Excluded staff. MUNACA joined in March 2018, making its members eligible as well. McGill remains open to including other eligible unions should they choose to join.


May Family Days be used to care for employees’ sick children who are 18 years old or older?

Yes. You may use Family Days to care for your sick children regardless of their age.


May I use Family Days to bring relatives to scheduled appointments (e.g. dentist, doctor, 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.


May I use Family Days if I have unused vacation, personal days, etc.?



As per the labour standard, an employee may be absent from work without pay for 10 days per year to fulfill obligations relating to the care, health or education of their close relatives. Is this affected by Family Days?

Using Family Days will have no impact on this provincially allotted unpaid leave.


Will I have to provide a doctor’s note if I use a Family Day?

A medical certificate will not normally be required when Family Days are taken. As with regular sick days however, McGill may sometimes request more detailed information depending on the nature of the absence or under special circumstances.


Can Family Days be taken in half-days?

While this is not specifically stipulated in our Disability Policy, the practice is that sick days can be taken in half-days. The same principle will apply for Family Days.


How will Family Days interact with short-term and long-term disability leaves?

Family Days will neither affect nor lead to short-term or long-term disability leaves.


What is the procedure for taking a Family Day?

As with a regular sick day, simply inform your supervisor that you must take a Family Day to tend to one of the above-mentioned sick relatives.


Can I take two or three Family Days in a row?

Yes, providing you have enough remaining paid sick days to cover this absence and have not used all three Family Days.


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.


How long will this pilot project last?

The 17-month pilot will run from January 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019. In the spring of 2019, we will assess its impact to determine whether modifications are needed and whether it should continue on a permanent basis.