Update: Employment leave provisions amended in British Columbia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador
Recent amendments to employment standards legislation in British Columbia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador have received royal assent, and bring certain types of leave in line with the federal government’s recent changes to employment insurance (EI) rules effective December 3, 2017. Changes to provincial leave provisions in these provinces provide employees with new and extended periods of job protection for various types of leaves.
Bill 6 received royal assent and came into force on May 17, 2018. The maximum lengths of parental and compassionate care leave periods are extended in accordance with the recent EI changes. Furthermore, Bill 6 introduces leaves of absence for the death or crime-related disappearance of a child.
Summary of changes to the British Columbia Employment Standards Act
Bill 44 received royal assent and came into force, with one exception, on March 16, 2018. Bill 44 amends the New Brunswick Employment Standards Act to create a new leave for care of a critically ill adult leave and expand maternity and parental leave provisions. Bill 44 also allows a family member who is not a parent to take a leave for care of a critically ill child.
Bill 44 will also permit regulations to be established concerning domestic violence, intimate partner violence or sexual violence leave. Those provisions come into force upon proclamation.
Summary of changes to the New Brunswick Employment Standards Act
Newfoundland and Labrador
Bill 29 received royal assent and came into force on March 12, 2018. Bill 29 amends the Labour Standards Act to increase the amount of parental leave available from 35 weeks to 61 weeks and introduces a new critically ill adult care leave of up to 17 weeks. Bill 29 also allows a family member who is not a parent to take a leave for care of a critically ill child.
Summary of changes to the Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Standards Act
British Columbia requires pension and benefit accrual to continue during a leave period, subject to the employee making the required contributions under the plan, while New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador do not. The changes to leave periods in British Columbia will require an extension to the potential length of benefit coverage under pension and benefit plans in those jurisdictions. Employers with plan members in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador will need to consider whether to extend pension and benefit accrual during extended leave periods to members, even though not legally required. Morneau Shepell will continue to monitor and keep you updated on the expansion of employment leave periods.