New parental leave laws suggested in Manitoba

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Manitoba has introduced legislative amendments that would create new job-protected work leaves for parents of critically ill children and children who have died or disappeared as a result of crime.

Under the proposed amendments, parents would be allowed:

  • up to 37 weeks off work to care for a critically ill child
  • up to 104 weeks off work if a child has died as a result of a crime
  • up to 52 weeks off work if a child has disappeared as a result of a crime.

To qualify, employees must have worked for the same employer for at least 30 days and the child must be under the age of 18.

"These changes will make sure parents in tragic circumstance don't also have to fear losing their jobs," said Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard. "These new leaves will help them continue providing for their families during a very difficult time."

The proposed amendments to work leaves under Manitoba's employment standards are designed to complement new federal income support benefits. The federal benefits will be available for parents of a murdered or missing child in January 2013 and for parents of a critically ill child in June 2013.

An employee entitled to such a leave from his job must be a person who has care, custody or control of the child and is considered to be like a close relative, whether or not they are related, said the government.

An employee wishing to take either one of these leaves would be required to give his employer advance notice of at least one pay period, unless this is not possible. Notice of one pay period is also required when employees are returning to work early from the leave.

The leaves are based on unanimous recommendations by the Labour Management Review Committee, which is made up of business and labour representatives.


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