Legislative Roundup: Changes in payroll laws and regulations from across Canada

Employment standards amendment allows for organ donor leave • Reminder: Minimum wage going up



Employment standards amendment allows for organ donor leave

Eligible employees in Manitoba are now entitled to take time off work without pay to donate organs and tissue.

The new standard results from an amendment to The Employment Standards Code, contained in Bill 227, The Employment Standards Code Amendment Act (Unpaid Leave Related to Donating an Organ), which came into effect June 18, after quickly moving through the legislative assembly.

The leave applies to donations for all or part of a kidney, liver, lung, pancreas, small bowel or another organ or type of human tissue set out in regulations under the code.

To be eligible, employees must have been employed by their employer for a minimum of 30 days. Eligible employees may take up to 13 weeks off work while they prepare for, undergo and recover from transplant surgery.

Before taking the leave, an employee must give the employer as much written notice as possible and provide the employer with a medical certificate stating the start and end dates for the time period needed to donate the organ and recover from the surgery. The employee can take leave for the period of time stated in the doctor's certificate.

Employees may extend their leave by up to an extra 13 weeks, if they provide their employer with another medical certificate stating the time period necessary for recovering.

Employees who decide to go back to work before the leave is over must give their employer written notice of their intent at least one pay period before the day they want to end the leave.

When the leave is over, the employer must allow the employee to return to his previous job or a comparable job with at least the same pay and benefits. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against or punishing an employee for taking an organ donation leave.


Reminder: Minimum wage going up

Effective Oct. 1, 2010, the minimum wage rate in the province for experienced workers will increase from $9.20 per hour to $9.65. The rate for inexperienced workers will increase from $8.70 to $9.15.

Province releases discussion paper on temporary foreign workers

The provincial labour ministry is examining the working conditions of temporary foreign workers, Labour and Workforce Development Minister Marilyn More recently announced.

To begin the examination, the province has released a discussion paper on issues affecting foreign workers in Nova Scotia. Topics discussed in the paper include whether employers should be allowed to recover from temporary foreign workers any recruiting expenses incurred to hire them and whether employers should be prevented from changing the terms and conditions of employment (such as reducing wages or denying benefits) for a temporary foreign worker once the worker begins employment.

“Temporary workers can be vulnerable, often not aware of protections available to them under the Labour Standards Code or having the confidence to exercise their rights,” said More.

The deadline for commenting on the discussion paper was June 30. The government plans to review the responses to help determine its next steps.

For more information on temporary foreign workers in Nova Scotia, please refer to www.gov.ns.ca/lwd/employmentrights/docs/ConsultationonTemporaryForeignWorkers.pdf

Latest stories