Nova Scotia proposes unpaid leave for workers to attend citizenship ceremony

If passed, bill would grant 1-day leave to workers to attend their own ceremony

Nova Scotia has introduced legislation that would give employees unpaid leave to attend their Canadian citizenship ceremony.

Bill 115, which was introduced by Marilyn More, the province's Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, and underwent first reading on Nov. 28, would amend the province’s Labour Standards Code. The bill passed second reading on Nov. 29 and was sent to the Committee of the Whole House on Dec. 8.

If passed, new Canadians would be entitled to an unpaid leave of “up to, at the employee’s option, a maximum of one day on the day of and to attend a citizenship ceremony to receive the employee’s certificate of citizenship.”

It also requires the employee to give 14 days’ notice — or as much notice as is “reasonably practicable” — of the date of the ceremony and the time the employee will be away from work to attend the ceremony.

It also stipulates that employers can ask employees to provide evidence of the date of the citizenship ceremony, and any employee who is denied leave or the opportunity to resume work on account of taking such leave can file a complaint.

Workers in Manitoba — which introduced its law in 2010 — have a similar unpaid leave to attend ceremonies, but only up to four hours.

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