Paid leave

Type of leaveCircumstanceMaximum LengthDocumentation
MedicalIllness/ injury, medical appointment/ procedure, or other disabling medical condition of yourself or a family member (may also be used to extend parental leave)6 weeks per yearNone required
ParentalNew child under age 6 (by birth, adoption, fostering, or becoming a legal guardian)3 weeks for non-birthing parents, 6 weeks for birthing parents (must be completed within 8 weeks of new child joining family)Request in writing at least 4 weeks before leave begins, if possible
BereavementLoss of a close relative, or that of a spouse or significant other. “Close relative” includes child, parent (including step-parent), grandparent, sibling, grandchild (or any spouse/significant other of any of the aforementioned). 3 consecutive days (Monday-Friday), with an additional 2 consecutive days for extenuating circumstances, including travel (can also add up to 3 consecutive days of sick leave, if needed)None required
Jury or Witness ServiceJury duty or witness service in response to a subpoena
Written verification from the Court Clerk of the times and dates of the required service.
Immigration ProceedingsImmigration proceedings for yourself or someone close to youAs neededWritten verification from the appropriate government agency

For information on COVID-related leave, see

For information on leaves of absence, see

Best practices for using leave: Notify your supervisor/department in writing, with as much advance notice as possible; work with your supervisor/department to minimize disruptions to your job duties. It is the responsibility of the University to determine if there is a need for, and if so, to assign a temporary replacement for an absent Employee. In no case will an Employee be required to pay for the replacement work or coverage for circumstances falling under the category of “paid leave.” Remember that if you are covering for another Employee who is absent on paid leave, you must be compensated for that work; contact your department administrator to ensure this is properly processed. 

Unpaid leave is available in the event of arrest, criminal proceedings, or the need to extend parental or bereavement leave beyond the period of paid leave.

Conferences: Conference attendance or other personal events are not covered by GEO’s contract as paid or unpaid leave; the University has strongly resisted our attempts to add this form of leave in contract negotiations. Informal arrangements are allowed, depending on departmental policy. In those cases, you are responsible for finding an informal replacement and getting the approval of your faculty supervisor. If you would like to get involved in bargaining for professional development leave for the future, or in organising within your department, please contact your department steward or email