ST. JOHN’S, NL – Proposed amendments to the Labour Standards Act that will allow working parents to access new Employment Insurance parental leave benefits have received second reading in the House of Assembly.
The benefits were introduced by the Government of Canada and went into effect on Dec. 3, 2017.
“We recognize the challenges often faced by young families and those providing care to a sick family member and we want to ensure that provincial labour legislation remains relevant and responsive to the needs of workers and their employers,” Advanced Education, Skills and Labour Minister Al Hawkins said in a news release today, Feb. 27.
“These changes will make it easier for families to balance work and life and that is good for our economy and good for our businesses.”
Changes being proposed to align with the Canada Labour Code are:
- The expansion of parental leave so parents can choose the option that best meets their family’s needs: standard parental benefits taken over 12 months or extended parental benefits taken over 18 months.
- The expansion of eligibility to care for a critically ill child to include immediate and extended family members.
- The introduction of job protection of 17 weeks for caregivers who provide care to a critically ill adult family member.
The amendments will also allow nurse practitioners to sign medical certificates for existing and new leaves.