Nova Scotia moves to enact job-protected leave for workers who experience ‘end of pregnancy’
Nova Scotia is introducing job-protected leave for workers who experience the end of a pregnancy.
The term “end of pregnancy” is defined as a pregnancy that does not result in a live birth, the province said.
Amendments to the Labour Standards Code introduced on Oct. 14, will ensure an employee who experiences the end of a pregnancy can take a protected leave from work, it said.
“No one in the province should have to worry about losing their job when they experience the end of a pregnancy,” said Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration. “By updating our legislation, people will have access to time away from work without concern for their job security.”
The proposed amendments ensure employees have access to:
- an unpaid leave of absence of up to five consecutive working days for a pregnancy which does not result in a live birth, or
- an unpaid leave of up to 16 weeks if their pregnancy ends after the 19th week.
An employee would be eligible for an unpaid leave of absence of up to five consecutive working days when:
- their pregnancy ends
- their spouse or partner’s pregnancy ends
- their former spouse or partner’s pregnancy ends if they would have been the biological parent
- they would have become a parent of a child, born as a result of the pregnancy, under a surrogacy agreement
- they would have become a parent of a child, born as a result of the pregnancy, by means of an intended adoption pursuant to the laws of the Province.
The province consulted with women’s centres and advocacy groups, employers and employer organizations, as well as labour groups and individuals, in developing the proposed amendments.
If passed, the amendments will take effect on January 1. The projected cost for this change to the government, as an employer, is about $550,000 annually.
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