Province to Increase Access to Parental Leave

More Nova Scotians will be able to take parental leave knowing their job will be waiting for them when they return.

Premier Darrell Dexter announced plans today, Sept. 2, to amend the Labour Standards Code to allow someone employed for six months with an employer to qualify for pregnancy/parental leave.

That would guarantee the right to return to the same job or a comparable one. Right now, employees have to be in a job for a year before their job is protected.

“We want to make life better for families in Nova Scotia,” said Premier Dexter. “We need to do a better job supporting young working families so they can continue to contribute to our economy and grow their family.”

Laura MacDougall has a one-year-old son and works as a birth and post-partum doula for new mothers. She says she is thrilled to hear the province intends to expand parental benefits.

“As a young mom, it is great to hear that the province is extending benefits so people have the opportunity to have children and still maintain a career,” said Ms. MacDougall. “As someone who would like a big family, but would still like the option to work and provide for my children, this is great news.”

The federal government requires people to work at least 600 hours in a year to qualify for parental employment insurance benefits. The hours can be full-time, which works out to 15 weeks, part-time or other flexible work arrangements.

This change would more closely align Labour Standard Code rules with those of the federal government. The change is expected to be in place by 2015.

Source: Release

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