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Disability policy

1. Scope

1.1 This policy applies to all full-time non-unionized non-academic staff, and all employees who have been accepted for coverage under the Optional Benefits Program for part-time staff.

1. 2 For the purposes of this policy, "full-time" shall refer to an employee working two- thirds (2/3) or more of the normal working hours for their role profile, as defined in the Hours of Work Policy.

2. Incidental Illness

2.1 The employee who has completed their probationary period is entitled to up to nine (9) days sick leave per financial year, to be used for incidental illness unforeseen by the employee and for the purposes described in paragraph 3.2.1.

2.2 Sick leaves mentioned in paragraph 2.1 are not authorized or approved when they coincide with vacations, maternity or paternity leaves, short or long-term sick leaves or any other absence, whether paid or not, which is already scheduled under this or any other University policies. However, if during an employee's vacation, there should occur a serious illness or accident requiring hospitalization, then sick leave may be substituted for vacation.

2.3 Any absence for sickness beyond the limits established in paragraph 2.1 shall not be paid, unless the Unit/Department Head agrees to the use of accumulated vacation, working compensating hours and/or overtime credit.

3.Short-Term Disability/Long-Term Disability

3.1 The employee who is unable to perform the normal duties of their position and who is under medical care following sickness or accident, other than work related accident or occupational disease, is entitled to a sick leave indemnity in accordance with the following provisions. Work related accidents or occupational disease are covered by the Act respecting Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases.

3.2 Short-Term Disability

3.2.1 In order to be eligible for short-term disability benefits, the employee must have completed their probationary period and be absent for more than two (2) consecutive working days. The employee must justify this absence with a medical certificate, stipulating a diagnosis  and a prognosis, from a legally qualified medical practitioner stating that the employee is unable because of sickness or accident to perform the normal duties of their position. The first two (2) working days of any absence due to sickness or accident, other than work related accident or occupational disease, are classified and treated as Paid Incidental Illness days, in accordance with section 2 of this policy. An employee who is absent from work several times during a financial year for the same medical reason, as diagnosed by the employee’s attending physician, will have a maximum of five (5) incidental illness days deducted from the bank of nine (9) paid incidental illness days.

In the event of any additional absences within the same financial year due to this same medical condition, as diagnosed by the employee’s attending physician, such days will not be deducted from the employee’s bank of nine (9) paid incidental illness days.

3.2.2 The duration of any short-term disability leave shall be as determined by a legally qualified medical practitioner. A short-term disability leave, without interruption, must not exceed six (6) months duration. A short-term disability leave which is interrupted but which is related to the same sickness must not exceed a cumulative period of six (6) months within a period of twelve (12) months.

3.2.3 Notwithstanding paragraph 3.2.2 above, in the case of a disability covered by the provisions of the Act Respecting Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases, the maximum duration of the short-term disability leave shall be twelve (12) months.

3.2.4 An employee on short-term disability leave receives an indemnity equal to one hundred percent (100%) of salary as of the date of onset of short-term disability,reduced by the following amounts:

  • all of the normal payroll deductions which must be made or would have been made had it not been for the disability leave;
  • any amount of income received by the employee in respect of their disability,including payments under the Quebec Pension Plan, the Canada Pension Plan, any Workmen's Compensation Law, Motor Vehicle Insurance Law or Criminal Injuries Compensation Act or any other government compensation program.

3.2.5 If an increase in salary takes place during the short-term disability leave, the employee benefits nonetheless from the increase to which the employee is entitled, as if the employee had not been on a short-term disability leave.

3.2.6 An employee will receive credit for service while on short-term disability leave for the purposes of vacation and employment security.

3.2.7 All contributory and non-contributory benefits plans will be continued in respect of an employee on short-term disability leave.

3.2.8 Notwithstanding the terms of paragraphs 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 above, in no event will the duration of a short-term disability leave extend beyond the end date of a term appointment, unless the employee obtained a reappointment effective no later than the first (1st) day immediately following the end date of a term appointment.

3.2.9 The University reserves the right to require that an employee requesting a short-term disability leave, or any extension thereof, be examined by a legally qualified medical practitioner appointed by the University at the University's expense. The leave  recommendation of the University's medical practitioner shall prevail. However, a  dispute may be filed as set out in Section 5 of this policy.

3.2.10 Upon their return to work, an employee will be reinstated into the position held at the commencement of the short-term disability leave.
If the employee's position has been abolished, the employee will be accorded the  rights and privileges that would have been granted had the employee been at work.

3.3 Long-term Disability

3.3.1 Subject to the terms of the long-term disability plan, the employee will be eligible for long-term disability benefits at the expiry of the period stipulated in paragraph 3.2.2   and 3.2.3.

3.3.2 An employee will not receive credit for service while on long-term disability leave for the purposes of the Employment Security or Vacation Policy. Any vacation outstanding in respect of the employee at the expiry of the short-term disability leave shall be paid out to the employee at the time they are accepted on to long-term disability.

3.3.3 After the fourth (4th) month of short-term disability, Human Resources (Benefits Office) will notify the employee in writing in order to initiate the process of filing an application for long-term disability benefits. All documentation must be completed and  submitted to the administrators of the long-term disability plan prior to the expiry of short-term disability leave in order to ensure that claims are processed and approved  as quickly as possible and to minimize the delay in providing income security for the employee.

3.3.4 In the event that an employee is examined by a physician at the University's request, the University must provide the employee with a copy of that physician's medical report.

3.3. 5 Contributory and non-contributory benefit plans will be continued in respect of an employee on long-term disability leave; however, such employee will not be required to pay their contributions to the Life Insurance Plan and the Pension Plan. Such  contributions shall be assumed by the University or the insurance plan as the case may be.

3.3.6 The salary which the employee receives upon returning to work will be the salary the employee was receiving when the leave commenced, increased by the amount of any general scale increase implemented during the course of the leave.

4. General Provisions

4.1 The employee must notify their immediate supervisor or delegate before their regular working hours, as of the first day of their absence or as soon as possible in cases where the employee was incapable of such notification.

4.2 The University reserves the right at all times to verify the certificate supplied by the employee's attending physician or to have the employee medically examined by a medical practitioner named by the University.

4.3 Medical certificates or the results of medical examinations are confidential and shall be treated as such by the University who will provide a copy to the employee concerned upon request.

4.4 No employee is obliged to tell their immediate supervisor of the nature of their sickness, diagnosis or other information relative to their ability to work that appears on the medical certificate.

4.5 When an employee undergoes a medical examination at the request of the University and in the office of the medical practitioner named by the University, or undergoes a  medical examination by a third medical practitioner, as stated in section 5 of this policy, the employee does so without loss of earnings (i.e. pay or salary continuance benefits).

5. Medical adjudication

5.1 If a dispute concerning the subjects mentioned in paragraphs (i) and (ii) below is not resolved at step 3 of the Dispute Resolution Policy, the employee may submit the dispute to step 4. Such submission may include a request for medical adjudication. In    the latter case, and upon written acceptance by the University of the medical  adjudication process within five (5) working days of receipt of the dispute at step 4, the dispute will proceed in the following way:

  1. Short-term disability leave

    In the event of a discrepancy between the short-term disability leave recommendation of the employee’s attending physician and the University's medical practitioner, the two medical practitioners will choose a third medical practitioner who will decide on the medical issues in dispute.

  2. Long-term disability medical evaluation

    In the event of a discrepancy concerning a medical evaluation between the employees' attending physician and the University's and/or insurer's medical practitioner, the medical practitioners will choose a third medical practitioner who will decide on the medical issues in dispute.

5.2 Medical conclusions
The fees and expenses incurred for the third medical practitioner will be shared equally by the parties. No dispute can be filed with respect to the third medical       practitioner's findings. The findings are binding on both parties. Any employee who fails to comply with the decision of the third medical practitioner will be deemed to have resigned from the University. No dispute can be filed with respect to such resignation.

5.3 Optional recourse
The University may refuse, without justification, to resolve a dispute through the medical adjudication process.

5.4 If the University does not accept the medical adjudication process in accordance with section 5.1, the employee shall, within twenty (20) working days of the expiry of the delay provided in section 5.1 deliver to Human Resources a signed request for arbitration. This request shall include a copy of the dispute. All time limits mentioned are mandatory unless otherwise agreed in writing. Failure to comply with this renders the dispute null, void and illegal.

6. Unpaid Sick Leave

6.1 Notwithstanding section 1, probationary employees who are credited with three (3) months of uninterrupted service and part-time employees who do not have coverage under the Optional Benefits Program for part-time staff who are also credited with three (3) months of service, may, upon advising the University as soon as possible        and giving the reasons therefore be absent from work, without pay, for a period of not more than twenty-six (26) weeks over a period of twelve (12) months, owing to      sickness or accident.

6.2 Paragraph 6.1 does not apply in the case of an employment injury within the meaning of the Act respecting Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases.

6.3 If an increase in salary takes place during the Unpaid Sick Leave upon his/her return to work, the employee benefits from the increase to which the employee is entitled, as if the employee had not been on an Unpaid Sick Leave.

6.4 An employee will receive credit for service while on Unpaid Sick Leave for the purposes of the Vacation Policy only.

6.5 All benefit plans shall continue in respect of the employee on Unpaid Sick Leave, subject to the employee’s regular payment of his/her contributions payable under those plans.

6.6 Notwithstanding the terms of paragraph 6.1 above, in no event will the duration of an Unpaid Sick Leave extend beyond the end date of a term appointment, unless the employee obtained a reappointment effective no later than the first day immediately following the end date of a term appointment.

6.7 The University reserves the right to require that an employee requesting an Unpaid Sick Leave be examined by a legally qualified medical practitioner appointed by the University at the University’s expense. The leave recommendation of the University’s medical practitioner shall prevail.

6.8 Upon their return to work at the end of the Unpaid Sick Leave, the employee will be   reinstated into the position held at the commencement of the Unpaid Sick Leave. If the employee’s position has been abolished, the employee will be accorded the rights and privileges that would have been granted had the employee been at work.

6.9 Section 4 of the Policy applies to the employee on Unpaid Sick Leave.

Effective October 1, 1998
Rev. March 2004
Rev. April 2005
Rev. September 2009