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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.

"The introduction of this bill further demonstrates New Brunswick's commitment to supporting our men and women in the Canadian Forces,"Coulombe said. "After consulting with stakeholders and members of the public last spring, it became clear that amendments to the leave for reservists provisions under the act had to be proposed to ensure that we are meeting the current and future needs of our reservists."

In 2007, the Employment Standards Act was amended in order to allow Class C reservists to take unpaid leave from work for up to 18 months to perform military service without the risk of losing their employment. The proposed amendments will extend the same privilege to all classes of reservists.

Other proposed changes include a provision that would allow reservists to take unpaid leave of up to 30 days annually to attend reservist training, as well as a hardship clause for employers to allow for an exemption from leave provision when such a leave would create undue hardship for an employer.

"As members of the legislative assembly, we have a moral obligation to support our country's reservists who risk their lives for our freedom," said Brian Macdonald, legislative secretary for military affairs. "I am proud to be part of a government that recognizes the value and dedication of our reservists,  and I look forward to working with our stakeholders to promote further the contribution of our military reservists."