Employees would have the right to take time off work to attend their Canadian citizenship ceremonies under proposals introduced in the legislature on Nov. 29 by Jennifer Howard, Manitoba’s labour and immigration minister.
"This will allow new Canadians to take up to four hours of unpaid leave for the purpose of attending their Canadian citizenship ceremonies," Howard said. "This is one of the most important days in every immigrant's first steps in a new country and they and their employers need guidelines outlining how they can attend the ceremony."
Under the legislation, employees would have to have been with a company for at least 30 days. Employees would also be required to give at least 14 days notice to allow the employer time to make alternate arrangements for the workplace.
About 4,500 immigrants a year are sworn in as Canadian citizens in Manitoba. The ceremonies are administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
"Prior to introducing this legislation, it was assessed by the Manitoba Labour Management Review Committee, which is composed of representatives of business and labour," Howard said. "The committee reached a consensus on this amendment, which recognizes the significance of this occasion in the lives of new Canadians."
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