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Leaves & Vacations

Federal government: parents who commit to adopt children in their care are eligible for EI parental benefits

The federal government announced yesterday that parents who commit to adopt children in their care will be able to get Employment Insurance (EI) parental benefits.

The government's news release also stated:

  • In recognition that adoption programs vary by province and territory, the federal government will now allow parents to be eligible for EI parental benefits as soon as they have taken the necessary steps to adopt the child in their care. This change brings the EI program in line with current adoption procedures.
  • Parental benefits under the EI program are provided to parents who qualify to take time away from work to bond with their newborn or newly adopted child or children. A maximum of 35 weeks of parental benefits is available to biological or adoptive parents.

This is the text of the accompanying "Backgrounder":


Adoption and Employment Insurance parental benefits  read more »

Ontario Government introduces 8-week Family Caregiver Leave

Topics: - Leaves & Vacations
Jurisdiction: - Ontario

The Ontario Government announced on December 8, 2011 that it is introducing new
legislation to help caregivers by providing for a Family Caregiver Leave.

Taken from the Ministry of Labour's website, the key facts concerning the leave are:

  • The Family Caregiver Leave, if passed, would build on the existing Family Medical Leave by amending the Employment Standards Act to provide up to 8 weeks of unpaid job leave for employees to provide care and support to a sick or injured family member.
  • The Family Caregiver Leave would be separate from the current Family Medical Leave which is available when a family member has a serious medical condition with a significant risk of death occurring within 26 weeks.
  • Under the Family Caregiver Leave, caregivers would be eligible for the leave to care for:

    • Their spouse.

    • A parent, step-parent, or foster parent of the employee or the employee's spouse.

    • A child, step-child, or foster child of the employee or the employee's spouse.

New Brunswick introduces amendments to expand reservist leave under Employment Standards Act

Topics: - Leaves & Vacations
Jurisdiction: - New Brunswick

The New Brunswick government has introduced amendments to expand the reservist leave under the Employment Standards Act.

The government's Novemember 30, 2011 News Release states:

Amendments to the leave for reservists provisions of the Employment Standards Act were introduced in the legislative assembly today by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Martine Coulombe.

The proposed bill will recognize and facilitate the critical work done by reservists to protect the  national interests, both in Canada and overseas, by expanding the existing leave provisions; providing reservists and their employers with greater clarity on their rights and responsibilities; and helping the Canadian Forces Reserve Command in planning deployments and training.  read more »

British Columbia to get "Family Day" statutory holiday starting in February 2013

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

British Columbia will be getting a "Family Day" statutory holiday starting in February 2013. The announcement was made in the BC Government's Speech from the Throne on October 3, 2011. Family Day will occur on the third Monday of every February. A few facts:

  • Three other provinces already have statutory holidays in February celebrating families: Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.
  • With the addition of Family Day, BC will have ten statutory holidays. The others are: New Years Day; Good Friday; Victoria Day; Canada Day; B.C. Day; Labour Day; Thanksgiving Day; Remembrance Day; and Christmas Day.
  • The only other jurisdiction in Canada with ten statutory holidays is the Northwest Territories
  • Easter Sunday, Easter Monday and Boxing Day are not statutory holidays in BC.
  • Following the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, there was a movement to have a statutory holiday in February called Glowing Hearts Day.

Christy Clark's impact on the British Columbia Employment Standards Act?

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Christy Clark was chosen as the leader of the BC Liberal Party last night and thus the new premier designate of British Columbia.

Her campaign included two promises that involve the BC Employment Standards Act:

  1. Minimum wage: She supports raising the minimum wage - currently $8 in most cases - after the government's consultation is complete. She will also eliminate the training wage.
  2. Family Day statutory holiday in February: She believes families deserve a break during the winter months. She'll spend the next few months consulting with business on how to give families a holiday in February. 

Source: "10 questions for premier-designate Christy Clark", The Province (February 27, 2011)

Employee on maternity leave was constructively dismissed when employer took steps to dissolve operations

In Lewis v. Terrace Tourism Society, 2010 BCCA 346, the majority of the BC Court of
Appeal found that the Executive Director ("ED") of the Tourism Terrace Society (the "Society") was constructively dismissed when the Society took steps to dissolve its operations while she was on maternity leave.


The ED commenced her employment with the Society in May 2004.

At the end of 2006, she started a maternity leave that was scheduled to run until January 2008. An interim ED was hired to replace her.

Two weeks after the ED commenced her maternity leave, the Society determined that it was in dire financial straits. It took several immediate steps to deal with the situation, including laying off the interim executive director and removing the ED's signing authority on its bank accounts.

A month later, the Society passed a "dissolution" resolution in which it voted to:  read more »

Manitoba bill that provides unpaid leave of absence for surgery to donate organs takes effect today

Topics: - Leaves & Vacations
Jurisdiction: - Manitoba

Bill 227 received Royal Assent today. It amends the Manitoba Employment Standards Code to provide for an unpaid leave of absence for employees who undergo surgery for organ donation.

A news release issued today by the Manitoba government notes that it is only the second jurisdiction in Canada to adopt such legislation.

The Manitoba government has also prepared an "Organ Donor Leave" publication which explains the amendments.