Leaves & Sabbaticals

Leaves Information


There are a various types of leaves available to CUASA members:

  • Leave of Absence Without Pay
  • Maternity and Parental Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Annual Leave
  • Statutory Holidays
  • Compassionate Leave
  • Academic or Professional Development Leave
  • Court Leave
  • Political Leave

If you have any questions about the leaves on this page or for information on application processes, please contact the CUASA Office.

Leave of Absence Without Pay

Members may apply for leaves of absence without pay. These leaves will normally be no more than two years in length and may be for either compassionate or other reasons.

With the exception of leaves of absence without pay for compassionate reasons, applications must be made at least six months before the start of the leave. As such, it is important to apply early.

Although members are on leave, they will still be considered for career development increments. They will not accumulate credit toward sabbatical, tenure or promotion.

Please note: Members must continue as part of the benefit plan for the period of unpaid leave. The full cost is paid by the member on leave.

If you are considering a leave of absence without pay, be sure to consult with CUASA.

Maternity and Parental Leave

Generally, you are eligible for maternity and parental leave if you hold:

  • a continuing position; or,
  • a term position of more than one year; or,
  • a term position of of year or less but are in the second or subsequent consecutive year of appointment.

Notice of Leave

Members are required to give fifteen (15) weeks notice, with medical documentation, prior to the birth of the child.

Leave Options

The following is a very basic overview of maternity and parental leave options at Carleton. No two situations are the same and you are strongly encouraged to contact CUASA for specific advice.

Option 1: This option requires members to be eligible for Employment Insurance maternity and parental benefits (this is most CUASA members). The EI benefit, plus a top-up from Carleton, provides:

  • 17 weeks of maternity leave at 95% salary
  • 35 weeks of parental leave, shared between the parents, at 95% salary

Option 2: This option does not require members to be eligible for Employment Insurance maternity and parental benefits. Carleton will provide:

  • 12 weeks maternity leave at 100% of salary plus 5 weeks of unpaid leave where benefit coverage is continued
  • 35 weeks of parental leave, shared between the parents

Note: Should an employee who has been on maternity leave elect to take an extended parental leave up to the maximum of 61 weeks (for 76 weeks total)m the supplemental income benefits will be pro-rated and extended for the leave period.

Adoptive Parents

Provided EI approves benefits, an adoptive parent is entitled to a maximum of 37 weeks of parental leave that is topped-up by the employer to 95% of salary. Total paid leave is 37 weeks.

Sick Leave

In the event of illness, CUASA members may be absent from work for up to 180 days or until the Long-Term Disability Plan comes into effect (for more on the LTD plan, see the Salary & Benefits page).

For illnesses lasting more than five days, the Employer may request a medical certificate indicating that the member is unable to work. If the absence lasts more than three months, the Employer may require a medical examination by a doctor of the member’s choice.

Annual Leave

CUASA faculty and instructor members are entitled to one calendar month of annual leave per year.

CUASA librarians are entitled to 22 working days annual leave during the first fourteen years of service. After the fourteenth year of service, librarians are entitled to 25 working days annual leave.

Statutory Holidays

Statutory holidays for faculty and instructor members are determined by past practice.

CUASA librarians receive the following statutory holidays off work:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Family Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday*
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Civic Holiday (August)
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
  • One half day prior to Christmas or New Year’s Day

The University is also normally closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

*If a librarian works on Easter Monday, they will receive an alternate day off with pay.

Compassionate Leave

CUASA members are entitled to compassionate leave where there are circumstances in the member’s life which may require such an absence (for example, the death or serious illness of a family member).

Normally compassionate leave will not exceed eight working days. In exceptional circumstances, this may be extended by the Dean or University Librarian.

Members may also apply for extended unpaid leave for compassionate reasons (see Leave of Absence Without Pay above).

Leave for Academic and Professional Development

In order to satisfy the University’s need for particular skills and qualifications, the Employer may approve leaves for academic and professional development with full, partial or without pay.

In the case of these leaves, the member will continue to accumulate sabbatical, tenure and promotion credits. They shall also be eligible for career development increments.

Court Leave

In the event that a member is called to be a witness or juror by any body in Canada with the power of subpoena, the member will be granted paid leave.

Political Leave

Members who are candidates for political office are eligible to apply for leave with pay (for Parliament or Provincial/National Legislature) or leave without pay (for other elected office), provided the employee provides notice and cooperates with arranging substitutions for academic commitments.

If elected, the member is entitled to leave of absence without pay for the term of office. If the member is elected for a second term (unless, in the case of Parliament or Legislature, the election occurs within 24 months of the original election), the member’s employment is terminated.

Sabbatical Information


All tenured or confirmed members of the bargaining are entitled to sabbaticals (Article 20).

Sabbaticals can be for a period of either:

  • six (6) months (following three years); or,
  • twelve (12) months (following six years of service).

Members may apply for an extended twenty-four month sabbatical at a reduced rate of pay.

When working part-time, members accrue sabbatical credit on a pro-rated basis.


Members must notify the Employer by October 31 of the year prior to the academic year in which the sabbatical is to take place of their intention to take a sabbatical.

For example:

  • For a twelve-month sabbatical beginning July 1, 2025, the deadline to notify would be October 31, 2024.
  • For a six-month sabbatical beginning January 1, 2026, the deadline to notify would also be October 31, 2024.

Members are required to submit a statement on their intended sabbatical to the Dean no less than three months prior to the start of the sabbatical.

First Sabbaticals

The first career sabbatical stipend is at 100% of a member’s nominal salary.

Service prior to tenure/confirmation is counted towards the first sabbatical, however members must receive tenure or confirmation before they can take a sabbatical.

Some service credit may also be granted for full-time academic employment before joining Carleton.

Stipend and Benefits

Notwithstanding the first career sabbatical stipend mentioned above, the stipend for subsequent sabbaticals is as follows:

  • for a twelve-month sabbatical, 85% of nominal salary
  • for a six-month sabbatical, 80% of nominal salary

Benefits are continued as normal during a sabbatical. Members continue to receive increases to salary as negotiated in the collective agreement.

Some of the sabbatical stipend may be taken as a research fund.

Chairs and Directors are entitled to enhanced sabbatical credit.

Delaying or Postponing Sabbaticals

Members may choose to delay their sabbatical. However, if the delay was a member’s choice, there is no additional compensation and all additional service credits earned are lost when a sabbatical is taken.

The Employer may also request that a member postpone a sabbatical for up to one year. In this case, members are entitled to additional compensation:

  • for a 12 month sabbatical, an additional 5% is added to the sabbatical stipend
  • for a 6 month sabbatical, a year of credit is granted towards the next sabbatical
Returning from Sabbatical

After a member takes a sabbatical, they will normally return to service at Carleton University.

Not later than three months after the end of the sabbatical, all members must submit a report on scholarly/research activities undertaken during their sabbatical to their Dean or University Librarian.

Sabbatical Interruptions

If you become ill while on sabbatical such that the illness disrupts your sabbatical, you should immediately notify your Dean/University Librarian.

Your sabbatical will be converted into sick leave and the time lost to illness will be retained so that you may continue your sabbatical once you have recovered from the illness. Note that illnesses of more than five days require a medical certificate.

If you have/adopt a baby during your sabbatical, the sabbatical is paused. The time remaining is:

  • applied at the end of the maternity/parental leave; or,
  • rescheduled, or;
  • you may abandon the extra sabbatical time.

As maternity/parental leave is remunerated at 95% of salary, it is usually financially advantageous to take maternity/parental leave.

Sabbatical Research Grant

In accordance with Article 20.4(h) of the collective agreement:

For second and subsequent sabbaticals, each employee shall receive a grant of $1200 for twelve (12) month sabbaticals or $600 for six (6) month sabbaticals for the reimbursement of expenses (with appropriate receipts or records of purchase) for travel (transportation and accommodation) and conference fees related to their planned research during the sabbatical leave. The grant shall be made available following the approval by the Provost of the written sabbatical plan. This grant is non-transferable and any unused funds may not be carried forward for future use.

Travel funds will be transferred to the sabbaticant’s professional expense reimbursement (PER). In order to access these funds, please use the activity code TRAVEL.