P.E.I. proposes employment standards overhaul

Changes include an extra week of paid vacation, overtime provisions and enhanced pay protection

Following the most extensive review of Prince Edward Island's Employment Standards Act in 15 years, the government has proposed wide-sweeping changes.

"These recommended changes are the result of much consultation and input by employees and employers," said Minister of Labour Carolyn Bertram. "Employment in Prince Edward Island is growing and changing, and legislation should reflect the modern workplace."

The amendments include:

• an additional week of paid vacation after eight continuous years of employment

• one day of paid bereavement leave

• one day of paid sick leave after 10 continuous years of employment

• court leave as an additional special leave under the act

• continuity of employment after a business is sold or transferred

• director’s liability

• banking of overtime hours

• enhanced access and benefits regarding maternity, parental and adoptive leave

• enhanced pay protections.

The proposed changes to the act also include an amendment to reflect federal government changes to the Compassionate Care Program.

The government is also proposing amendments related to limiting work week variance, penalties for legislation contravention and changes related to minimum wage rate criteria and input.

"More than 58,000 workers on Prince Edward Island have their working conditions regulated by the Employment Standards Act and Regulations," said Bertram. "This legislation is critical to workers who are not able to enjoy the benefits and protections offered by collective agreements."

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