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  • Writer's picturePegasus Health

How to Apply for Stress Leave in BC?

If you are experiencing a significant amount of distress and would like to take leave of absence (stress leave) from work for a period of time in British Columbia (BC), you may be eligible for stress leave. Here are some steps to guide you apply for stress leave in BC:


  1. Review your employment contract/ collective agreement: Check the parts that are related to taking leave, including stress leave.

  2. Schedule an appointment with your family doctor or clinical counsellors: Get your stress condition assessed and start treatments such as clinical counselling/ psychotherapy and medications.

  3. Inform your manager/supervisor: Check in with your manager or supervisor about your intention and duration of taking stress leave. Provide written documents/ doctor notes/ counselling notes/ specific insurance company’s forms for reporting absences for stress leave.

  4. Review the employment standards in BC: Find out your rights and obligations during the stress leave.

  5. Apply for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits (if applicable): If you are expected to take more than seven consecutive days for stress leave, you may be eligible for Employment Insurances (EI) sickness benefits. Please contact Service Canada to learn more about the application process and documents required.

  6. Formulate a return to work plan: Discuss with your employer, clinical counsellors and family doctor to design a gradual return to work plan. Ask for any necessary accommodations to support a successful return to work plan.


  • Please note, every employer and insurance company may have specific procedures and requirements when applying for stress leave, based on your employment status, insurance company policies and company protocols. Please consult with your Human Resources (HR) department to find out specific guidelines.


  • Check in with our clinical counsellors and find out how to apply for stress leave here.


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