Alberta is the latest province to propose extending its guaranteed employment leave provision for new parents. Unlike Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland, which simply increased the provision to 52 weeks to match federal legislation, Alberta is appointing a committee to figure out what the optimum amount of time would be.
“Before we change the provisions in the Employment Standards Code, we need further advice from both employees and employers on what is an acceptable length of guaranteed employment leave for parents,” said Clint Dunfrod, Alberta’s Human Resources and Employment minister.
The committee comprises:
•Sue Evison, a consulting engineer and working mother with two teenagers;
•Corinne Pohlman, senior policy analyst at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business;
•Co Vanderlaan, director for the Christian Labour Association of Canada;
•Shannon Wyatt, a lawyer returning to work after maternity leave;
•Audrey Cormack, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour; and
•Ron Stevens, MLA-Calgary Glenmore.
The committee consulted with Albertans through questionnaires and interviews, and will make recommendations on: eligibility requirements, length of leave, notice periods and employee entitlements.
Alberta’s Employment Standards Code currently provides birth mothers with a minimum unpaid leave of 18 weeks and adoptive parents with eight weeks of unpaid leave.
FYI, The Ontario government recently posted a series of frequently-asked questions about its parental leave regulations. Visit http://www.gov.on.ca/LAB/main.htm.