Health & Wellness

Medical Leaves

This page contains all the information you will need if you are required to take time off on medical leave. Below you will find forms and case-specific information regarding the type of leave you are taking. 

Prior to initiating a medical leave ETFO strongly encourages you to contact Vice President Ali Lyon at the ETFO Waterloo Office.

Who do I submit medical to?

Your health and medical circumstances are your personal information. 

The WRDSB Wellness Department is the only department that can receive and approve a medical leave.  Any medical information that you provide to Wellness Department is kept in a medical file, completely separate from your regular human resources personnel file. Only a few employees who work within the Wellness department have the right to see this information. Your administration is not privy to your medical file.

Do not submit and/or share any medical information with your administration.  Your school administration should have no access to ANY medical information about you.  There is no advantage to sharing your medical circumstances with your administration and once shared it cannot be undone.

This document will provide you with further information about what should be shared and with whom.

Medical Assessment Forms can be submitted by email or faxed directly to the WRDSB Health and Wellness Department.
Email: HRWellness@wrdsb.on.ca
Fax: 519-570-5573

Planning:

If your medical leave commences at the start of the school year, the LTO/Occasional teacher is responsible for the planning and classroom set-up.

During a mid year medical leave you are responsible for leaving your long range plans and providing a lesson a plan for the first instructional day of your medical leave, then it is the responsibility of the supply teacher/LTO to plan accordingly.

While on a medical leave you are not required to perform any of your regular duties as a teacher.

Reporting and Assessment:

You are responsible for providing your most recent student achievement data and assessment to the occasional teacher/LTO in a timely manner. When a medical leave commences just prior to or during the report card writing period, it is the responsibility of the occasional teacher/LTO to complete the report cards.

You cannot be asked nor should you agree to to completing reports in advance of a leave or while on leave.

Physical and/or Emotional Medical Leave

Should you need to pursue a medical for either physical and/or emotional reasons, your treating physician will need to complete the WRDSB Medical Assessment Form for Physical/Emotional Medical Leave. It is imperative that your medical documentation only reference you if you wish to utilize your sick days- medical should not reference other family members, colleagues, etc.  

The WRDSB will not accept a generic note from a physician.

Upon submitting the Medical Assessment Form(MAF), and the WRDSB Wellness Department approving the medical documentation, you would be off on a paid sick leave.

Do not submit and/or share any medical to your administration.

Your medical information is confidential and only the WRDSB Wellness Department can approve medical leaves.

Communication with your Administration

Medical situations are unpredictable and can be commenced immediately. At the point in which you need to commence a medical leave, we advise that you email the information below to your administration and cc hrwellness@wrdsb.on.ca and Ali Lyon alyon@etfowr.ca to your email. Please communicate via email to ensure you have documentation of the communication. Below is a sample email.

Dear (insert name of principal),

I am currently in the process of submitting the necessary documentation to the WRDSB Wellness Department, to pursue a medical leave.

I have entered my absence into Easy Connect for the next six (6) instructional days.

I have left lesson plans on my desk for the next instructional day as well as my long range plans for the occasional teacher to plan accordingly.

During this time I ask that you allow me to recuperate, respect my privacy and refrain from reaching out to me.

If any clarification is needed in this situation, please contact the Wellness Department directly.

Thanks

(insert your name)

Planned Surgery

Should you need to take time off for a surgery, a physician/surgeon will need to complete the WRDSB Medical Assessment Form- Surgery. You will need to submit this form in advance of your surgery.

Upon submitting the Medical Assessment Form, and the WRDSB Wellness Department approving the medical documentation, you will be approved to utilize sick leave for the surgery day and the recovery afterwards.  

An occasional teacher will be hired for the duration of our medical leave.  Human Resources and your administration will oversee the hiring of the occasional teacher.  ETFO members cannot prearrange an occasional teacher for their absence.

Do not submit and/or share any medical to your administration.

Your medical information is confidential and only the WRDSB Wellness Department can approve medical leaves.

Pregnancy Related Medical Leave

Should you need to take time off, for medical reasons, prior to the birth of your baby, a physician would need to complete the attached medical form. The WRDSB will not accept medical from a midwife as he/she is not a physician. Your family doctor, obstetrician, psychologist or psychiatrist can always complete it.

You can be off on an approved sick leave up until the birth of your baby as long as it is medically supported.

If you need to be off due to physical/emotional concerns that are being exasperated due to being pregnant, then you need to have the generic WRDSB Physical/Emotional Medical Assessment Form.

General Medical Assessment Form (MAF)

If you need to be off because the pregnancy is at risk, then you need to submit the WRDSB Pregnancy Related Medical Assessment Form.  It is essential that the doctor indicate “yes” to question #2 on the WRDSB Pregnancy Related Medical Leave Assessment Form.

Pregnancy Related Medical Assessment Form (MAF)

 Upon submitting the Medical Assessment Form, and the WRDSB Wellness Department approving the medical documentation, you would be off on a paid sick leave. 

Communication with your Administration

Medical situations are unpredictable. At the point in which you need to commence a medical leave, we advise that you email via Waterworks the information below to your administration and cc HRWellness@wrdsb.on.ca and Ali Lyon alyon@etfowr.ca to your email. Please communicate via email to ensure you have documentation of the communication. Below is a sample email.

Dear (insert name of principal),

I am currently in the process of submitting the necessary documentation to the WRDSB Wellness Department, to pursue a medical leave prior to commencing my maternity leave. 

I have entered my absence into Easy Connect for the next six (6) instructional days.

I have left lesson plans on my desk for the next instructional day as well as my long range plans for the occasional teacher to plan accordingly.

During this time I ask that you allow me to recuperate, respect my privacy and refrain from reaching out to me.

If any clarification is needed in this situation, please contact the Wellness Department directly.

Thanks

(insert your name)

Medical Accommodations

There are no cookie cutter accommodations – each one will reflect the particular needs of the individual involved, as well as the possibilities in the workplace and board as a whole.

What really matters is that the accommodation actually means the member can continue to work (or return to work) and that the member’s dignity and independence are respected as a part of the process.

Here are a few examples:

  • A member with a mobility-related disability might be given inside supervision duty as opposed to yard duty, or might need to be relocated to avoid having to negotiate stairs.
  • A member with a visual impairment might be given specialized software or a screen magnification device.
  • A member with a hearing impairment might be given an audio device, or a visual fire alarm might be installed in the classroom or an alarm with a frequency more audible to a broader range of hearing levels.
  • A member with a mental health-related disability might be given a teaching assignment that involves a smaller number of students.
  • A member with a vascular condition might be excused from yard duty in extreme weather.
  • A member with diabetes might require coverage when carrying out necessary blood testing or going for snacks.
  • A member with a learning disability might require additional time to complete paperwork, or might need to receive documents in advance.

Accommodations can be temporary or permanent, depending on the circumstances of the individual.

When an accommodation is being sought, the WRDSB requires the Medical Assessment Form-Physical/Emotional to be completed. This formalizes the accommodation. While the WRDSB does not have the right to demand a diagnosis, a description of any limitations that may apply to the member will assist in designing the accommodation. For example, a medical letter might state that a member should not climb any stairs in the course of his or her duties. However, medical professionals cannot dictate to the employer, for example, that teacher X cannot teach a particular grade level or subject.

Resilience Program

Our benefits program includes Resilience™, a full-service employee and family Resilience™ Services assistance program, supplied through a leading national employee and family assistance program service provider.

Some of the services available for you and your dependents include:

  • Short-term Counselling;
  • Legal Counselling;
  • Financial Counselling;
  • Online Courses; and,
  • Online Childcare and Eldercare Resource Database.

If you require assistance after hours, please call our 24-hour line: 1-866-644-0326.

Early Intervention

Early Intervention is a confidential service provided by OTIP. It is designed to assist you in returning to work.

Once you have been off ill and/or commenced a medical leave for 15 consecutive working days or longer, an Early Intervention referral is made for you.

Early Intervention is a voluntary and confidential support/benefits program offered to you at no cost through your ETFO’s LTD insurance plan. OTIP respects your privacy. The medical information that you provide to OTIP stays with OTIP and is not shared with the WRDSB or ETFO, and will only be used for the purpose of providing you with the services you require.

Once your situation is assessed an Early Intervention Rehabilitation Consultant will provide you with individualized information, treatment resources, and funding assistance. Some examples of assistance that may be offered are:

  • Counselling, chiropractic treatment, occupational therapy
  • Assistive devices
  • Physical conditioning – weight management programs, gym memberships/programs
  • Stress reduction programs
  • Expediting diagnostic tests such as MRIs, CAT scans, FAEs, IMEs.
  • Referrals to CAREpath. CAREpath is a group of highly trained Canadian cancer specialists (support staff, oncology nurses and oncologist physicians) who work with clients to ensure that they receive the right treatment, at the right time and in the right place.

In order to support you best, Vice President Ali Lyon will make a referral for you and send you an email informing you that a referral has been made. Members should expect to receive a call from an OTIP Early Intervention Rehabilitation Consultant within five (5) business days after the initial referral.

Again, there is no obligation to participate.

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