In A Flash

Nova Scotia extends employee unpaid leaves to align with changes to federal Employment Insurance

On October 11, amendments to the Nova Scotia Labour Standards Code were proclaimed that extend unpaid leaves available to new parents and parents of critically ill children in order to take into account recent federal changes that extended EI benefits.

The Act to Amend Chapter 246 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Labour Standards Code, 2nd Sess, 63rd Leg, Nova Scotia, 2018 (“Bill No. 29”) adds provisions to the Code relating to unpaid leaves in order to align with federal employment insurance benefits.

Bill No. 29 amends the Code by:

  • reducing pregnancy leave from 17 weeks to 16 weeks;
  • increasing parental leave from 52 weeks to 77 weeks;
  • increasing combined pregnancy and parental leaves from 52 weeks to 77 weeks;
  • extends eligibility for critically ill or injured child leave to employees who are family members of the child; and
  • establishes a 16-week unpaid leave for an employee’s critically ill or injured adult family member.

To be entitled to critically ill adult care leave, a legally qualified medical practitioner must issue a certificate stating that the adult is critically ill and requires the care and support of the employee and must also set out the period during which the adult requires the care or support and an employer may request a copy of the certificate in writing.  The new provisions also prescribe details as to when it can be taken and return to work following the leave.

The Legislature rejected amendments proposed by the NDP which would have granted job protection to employees who take leave after only 17 weeks of employment.  The Government promised to address the issue of job security through Regulations.

Bill No. 29 was given first reading on September 13, 2018 and was given Royal Assent just last week on October 11, 2018.

In other activity at the fall sitting of the Nova Scotia Legislative, a private member’s bill was defeated that would have required employers to provide six paid sick days per year, instead of the current three unpaid sick days.

If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.

Print article

More insights

In A Flash

Ontario’s Top Court Upholds Termination of Unvaccinated Worker

In a recent case, the Court of Appeal confirmed that an employee’s failure to meet COVID-19 vaccination requirements imposed by a third party amounted to frustration of the employment contract. There was, therefore, no obligation for the employer to provide notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice. The Court confirmed the motion judge’s findings, accepting that in the circumstances, all requirements for frustration had been met.

Read more
In A Flash

Remote Worker Dismissed Over Vaccination Status Denied EI by Federal Court

In Spears v. Canada (Attorney General), 2024 FC 329, the employee, a public servant, was dismissed for misconduct after failing to comply with her employer’s Covid-19 Vaccination Policy, despite her status as a remote worker. Her subsequent application for employment insurance (“EI”) benefits was denied. After two failed appeals, the employee brought the matter before the Federal Court on judicial review. On February 28, 2024, the Federal Court dismissed her application, thereby affirming the original decision to deny her EI benefits.

Read more

Webinars

Our complimentary webinars address the practical and legal issues for Canadian employers.

View our Webinars