The Society celebrates passage of Ontario’s Leave for Family Caregivers

29 April 2014

Toronto -

The Canadian Cancer Society celebrates the passing of legislation that will provide job security for family caregivers who take time to care for loved ones with a serious medical condition.

Bill 21, Employment Standards Amendment Act (Leaves to Help Families), 2013 finished third reading and was passed in the Ontario Legislature today. Family Caregiver Leave entitles employees to take an additional leave of absence to what is currently allowed under Family Medical Leave, without pay, to provide care or support to a family member with a serious medical condition.

“We thank all MPPs for passing this important legislation that will now allow Ontarians who need to take leave from work to care for a family member with cancer, the ability to concentrate on supporting their loved ones instead of worrying about losing their jobs," says Rowena Pinto, Vice President, Public Affairs, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. “While we would like to see progress towards a paid leave, protected leave is a great step to help ease the burden.”

Influencing municipal, provincial and federal government to pass public policies that will help prevent cancer and help people living with cancer is a vital part of the Society’s fight against cancer.


• In 2007, there were 2.7 million caregivers over the age of 45 in Canada.

• Between 2002 and 2007 the number of family caregivers over the age of 45 increased by 30 per cent. This is an increase of approximately 670,000 people and the majority, 77 per cent, of family caregivers are women.

• Twenty-three per cent of Canadians have cared for a family member or close friend with a serious health problem in the past 12 months.

• Up to 85 per cent of all palliative care in Canada is provided by family members.

• A family caregiver loses approximately 23 per cent of their workable hours.

• In 2012, cancer was identified as the second highest need for caregiving (11%) and cancer was the main reason behind spousal caregiving (17%).

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. No other organization does what we do; we are the voice for Canadians who care about cancer. We fund groundbreaking research, provide a support system for all those affected by cancer and advocate to governments for important social change.

Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit cancer.ca today.

For more information, please contact:

Justin Edmonstone

Public Affairs

Canadian Cancer Society

Ontario Division

Phone: 416-323-7026