Family Days policy: FAQs


Published: 5Jun2019
Father and child reading a book
What is a Family Day?

Following a successful pilot project, MUNACA, M and Excluded employees may continue to 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:

  1. your spouse or the child, father, mother, brother, sister and grandparents of yourself or your spouse, as well as
  2. the spouse, children, and spouse of the children of the people listed in point 1.


How many Family Days are we entitled to?

Eligible employees are entitled to use three of their nine sick days as Family Days during the course of a given reference year, effective June 1, 2019.


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 Act (LSA), 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?

Family Days provide additional flexibility for balancing family and work obligations; using them will have no impact on this provincially allotted 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 applies 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 policy 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.


I know Family Days were developed from an employee idea. How can I make suggestions too?

The Family Days pilot project and subsequent policy were developed following the submission of the idea through the Great Ideas Pipeline, which is part of the My Healthy Workplace program sponsored by Vice-Principal, Administration and Finance, Yves Beauchamp. Learn more here about this and other ways to share your ideas.

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