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Will taking stress leave in Ontario, Canada effect ones future employment?

Someone close to me has always dreamed of becoming a police officer. This person has trained, and studied for the OACP test that is required. The only thing, is that they are currently working at a job for 5 years that they cannot stand. It is a toxic environment, mamagement is harrassing, and even when brought to HR AND the labour board, nothing was done. Due to money, and having a family, its been difficult to just up and leave. Meanwhile continuing to train and obtain the OACP for policing. They want to go on stress leave as the job and external life factors are starting to come to a head. Insomnia has creeped in, and high anxiety. They do have a history or anxiety and a bit of depression.. Going on stress leave I think will benefit them, as its time off to heal and get back to regular routine of things.. Sleep, and away from toxic environment. However they are afraid this will effect them applying for policing.. and they will see it as disqualification. Does anyone know if that is in fact true?

Thank you!
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Avatar universal
Most of us here are not from Canada, so we don't know their laws.  Canada tends to have much better protection for its citizens than the US, but what its privacy laws are unknown.  But here's the thing -- all future employers, not just the police, would be wary of anyone who took stress leave from a job if they found out.  That's just life.  I managed small businesses and I was also a lawyer, and nobody wants to hire someone who is high maintenance.  So the issue you need to learn is what you're required to tell your employer in Canada and what you're not.  Again, Canada is likely to have some protections that many other countries don't, but even in the US we do have a law protecting health information.  But it's not that simple, because if an employer asks, you have to decide, do I answer truthfully or do I lie?  Employers are allowed to test their candidate's qualifications.  The more important issue, however, is the health of the person.  I don't even think in the US there is such a thing as stress leave, so the fact Canada has such a thing also implies you get to keep that at secret, but if the new employer asks the former employer, again, you have to find out if the former employer is required to not say anything about it.  This isn't fair or wise, but it is life as we live it.  Employers are all authoritarians no matter how democratic the society is, and unless you're a celebrity or in incredible demand that overcomes these things you are usually at the mercy of your employer.  I wish I could just say it will have no effect, but I really don't know, but I do know that, again, having hired a lot of people, I wouldn't hire someone who had taken stress leave.  That's totally against my value system, but as a manager I couldn't also be a counselor.  No time.  While most nations are working on making our work places more humane, I would tell your friend to seriously consider this.  As for the more important health issue, has your friend got a history of difficulty with anxiety or stress?  Lots of people hate their jobs but it doesn't cause this kind of reaction.  If it does, it might be the situation or it might be the person has something deeper going on that is more than just a bad job situation.  Personally, I would advise the person to start looking for a new job now.  Stress leave won't really help other than providing paid time off, but there are other ways of doing that.  But finding a new job can take a bit of time, and when the stress leave is over, the job will still be the same awful place to work.  So two bigger issues than the police:  the long-term mental health of the person and the need to move on even if it's not yet time to move over to the police.  It would be different if the person wanted to stay at the same job -- then stress leave would be a much easier choice.  The reason I ask about mental illness as opposed to stress from a bad job is that once you start avoiding stress avoidance and anxiety can get worse.  That's only if it's a mental illness going on here and not just a really bad employer.  My advice stands:  if this isn't a mental health problem but a terrible job, find a new one.  And keep pursuing the police job from the new job.  Peace.
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