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Changes to maternity, parental, adoption and interpersonal violence leaves, as well as a newly introduced critically ill adult leave, are now part of Saskatchewan’s employment laws.
Bill 153 introduced changes to leave provisions under The Saskatchewan Employment Act, including:
Expanding interpersonal violence leave to include sexual violence;
Increasing maternity and adoption leave to 19 weeks, the longest in Canada (previously 18 weeks);
Increasing parental leave to up to 59 weeks for the parent who gave birth, or up to 63 weeks for another parent (previously 34 and 37 weeks respectively); and
The addition of a critically ill adult leave, which allows employees 17 weeks of job protected leave to care for a critically ill adult family member.
“We know that people in Saskatchewan need these new leave provisions and we expect that there will be a positive impact on those that utilize these supports,” Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said. “Providing leaves that allow people to focus on family and accessing the supports they need and not having to worry about job security is important for our government.”
Bill 172, The Saskatchewan Employment (Paid Interpersonal Violence and Sexual Violence Leave) Amendment Act, 2019, which was introduced earlier this week, is also now in force. This will allow employees who are survivors of interpersonal and sexual violence to take five paid days and five unpaid days to seek medical attention, access supports or relocate.
Some of the changes were introduced, in part, to allow Saskatchewan residents to fully access benefits available through the federal Employment Insurance program, such as an extended parental leave or time to care for a critically ill loved one.