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Leaves of Absence

Leaves of Absence Policy



Queen’s University supports and recognizes that a resident’s personal circumstances may require absences from work for short periods of time.  In keeping with the University’s values, leaves of absence are granted to assist in taking care of residents’ overall well-being and family needs.

“Leaves” for the purposes of this policy, do not include vacation, professional leave or examination leave time. See PARO-CAHO Agreement for vacation, professional and educational leave time allocations.

A leave of absence is defined as an approved interruption of training for any reason and is generally categorized into leaves with pay and leaves without pay.

This policy is not intended to supersede the Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO) and the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO), but serves to assist the Postgraduate Medical Education Office and Program Directors in their interpretation and application of the agreement.


A resident will remain registered with the Postgraduate Medical Education Office, notwithstanding his / her inactivity and is expected to maintain a standard of conduct in keeping with the standards of the residency program, the University and the medical profession at large.

Time lost during a leave must be made up, based on a plan created in conjunction with the Program Director of the current rotation and the Postgraduate office as required. It is anticipated that the required time lost or rotations missed will be made up with equivalent extra time in the residency on the resident’s return to the program. Residents will normally be required to complete all mandatory / elective components of the program.

In keeping with Section 8.0 (Incomplete Rotations) of the Postgraduate Medical Education Assessment, Promotion, and Appeals Policy, a rotation or horizontal learning experience may be considered incomplete if a resident has missed more than ¼ of the expected time commitment.

The Postgraduate Medical Education Office will notify the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) of all interruptions in training greater than one week, as reported by the Program Director. Residents must be aware of their professional obligations to report leaves to the CPSO when applying for or renewing licenses. Failure to disclose leaves from the training program may result in delays in license renewal as a result of investigation and/or disciplinary action.



In keeping with existing University and hospital policies:

Paid Leaves:

Sick Days

For absences of three (3) or less days:  A resident may be absent for reasons of illness for a maximum of three days without being required to produce a doctor’s note. There may be specific reasonable circumstances when the Program will request a doctor’s note irrespective of consecutive days missed (i.e., if there has been a pattern of days missed over a period of time).   A doctor’s note specifying the dates of the illness, and an anticipated return date should be submitted to the Program Director.

Sick notes are not required to contain any medical prognosis information, and can be submitted directly to the Program. Please note that any medical documentation provided to substantiate an absence must be dated during the absence itself to be considered for sick benefits.

For absences of four (4 )or more days: A Resident is required to apply for Short Term Disability (STD) benefits. The Resident shall support the submission of an Attending Physician’s Statement (APS) form available from Occ Health that will contain details of a medical prognosis and an active treatment plan in order to be eligible for any sick benefits during the absence.

Salary and Benefit Continuance
(Medical Absence less than 6 months, or to the end of the appointment)       
See Section 14. 1 of the PARO/CAHO agreement. STD Benefits may be maintained and continued until either the end of an appointment or for six (6) months, whichever occurs first.

In the event a Resident reaches either of the above milestones, (Medical Leave greater than 6 months, or end of appointment) refer to Section 19.1 and 19.2 of the PARO/CAHO agreement for information on the Long Term Disability (LTD) process.


Bereavement Leave

In the event of a death in a resident’s immediate Family, the resident is normally entitled to a leave of absence of up to three consecutive working days within the period of seven consecutive days of the date of death of the immediate family member.  An additional two days of leave may be granted by the Program Director for travel outside of the country, making funeral arrangements or settling estate matters. This policy should be interpreted with proper sensitivity.

Immediate Family is defined as spouse, common-law spouse, same-sex partner, child, sibling, parent, mother/father-in-law, sister/brother-in-law, daughter/son-in-law, grandparent and grandchild. Similar consideration may also be given to foster child, foster parent, ward or other individual close to the employee.  Residents will also be granted one day off with pay in the event of the death of an aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.

Time off with pay for attendance at the funeral of a deceased fellow employee (other than relatives as mentioned above) may be allowed at the discretion of the Program Director.

If, while on scheduled vacation, there is a death of an employee's immediate family, and if, upon request, the employee can provide suitable verification of the event, bereavement leave may be substituted for vacation.


Compassionate Leave

In the event of important or unusual circumstances (e.g., a sudden or serious illness in the resident’s household, or a medical or dental appointment of an emergency or specialized nature, or other such infrequent circumstances), a resident may be absent from work for short periods of time.

A resident may be absent for a maximum of one week or less with pay in each academic year without academic penalty.  An absence of longer than one week may require an extension of the residency program by the number of additional days missed, not including the initial one-week absence.  The Postgraduate Office must be notified in writing of all absences longer than one week, either as a single event, or as a cumulative total number of days during a rotation.

Unpaid Leaves

Leave of Absence

A resident may request an unpaid leave of absence at any time. This must be approved by the Program Director, who may also wish to refer the request to the Residency Program Committee depending on the length of the requested leave and the reasons therefore.  An unpaid leave of absence may be granted until the end of the appointment or for six (6) months, whichever occurs first.


Each situation must be decided upon by the Program Director or designate based on a fair, reasonable and equitable standard which recognizes such leave as an earned privilege, but not as an established right. The Program Director is responsible for approving the length of the leave and University/hospital human resources staff are available to offer advice in unique cases.

Leave Request

Step 1

The resident contacts the Program Director with a written request for a leave.  The request must include the purpose of the leave, the start date and duration of the leave.

*If a medical leave of 3 days or more, the resident must contact Occupational Health and Safety at Kingston General Hospital regarding the requirement to complete an APS.

Step 2            

Program Director sends a letter to the Registration Coordinator, PGME Office, approving the resident’s leave. Letter must include type of leave, start date and expected return date. A copy of the doctor’s note should also be submitted with the letter. 

*If an emergency leave, the Program Director may submit the notification to the PGME office without having received a request in writing from the resident. 

The PGME office communicates the details of the leave to Kingston General Hospital (payroll, HR, Occupational Health) and to the CPSO.

Returning from a leave

Step 1

As soon as possible, the resident must contact the Program Director and confirm their return to work.

* If the resident was on medical leave, they must contact Occupational Health and Safety, before any return to work can be contemplated, in order to to confirm they are cleared to return to work. The return to work date may be impacted by the individual’s review with Occupational Health and Safety. This must be completed before the Program Director advises the PGME office of the confirmed return to work date. The PGME office will need a copy of the basic doctor’s note confirming the return to work date.


KGH Contacts:

Giselle Cross, Return to Work Specialist
613-549-6666 x2116 or

Craig Manley, Return to Work Specialist
613-549-6666 x6378

Step 2           
The Program Director forwards a letter to the Registration Coordinator, confirming the resident’s return to work date.


Step 3

The Registration Coordinator will inform Kingston General Hospital (payroll, HR, and Occupational Health) and the CPSO of  the official return to work date.