Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
November 6, 2019

Amendment Introduced to Labour Standards Act to Make it Consistent with Federal Changes to Parental Leave Benefit

The Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, today introduced an amendment to the Labour Standards Act to ensure that provincial labour legislation pertaining to parental leave is updated to align with recently introduced changes to the Government of Canada’s Employment Insurance Parental Sharing Benefit, as of March 17, 2019.

While the Government of Canada is responsible for parental benefits through the employment insurance program, the Provincial Government provides the job protected leave through the Labour Standards Act. An amendment to the act is required to allow workers in Newfoundland and Labrador full access to this leave and to ensure greater flexibility for parents who wish to share their Federal Parental Leave Benefit.

The proposed amendment would remove the legislative reference to parental leave beginning 35 weeks after the birth of a child and would instead allow the leave to occur within the first 96 weeks after the child is born. The maximum amount of leave available to any one employee remains the same at 61 weeks.

Effective March 2019, the Federal Government implemented a new five-week Employment Insurance (EI) Parental Sharing Benefit when both parents agree to share parental leave. 

“This proposed amendment is intended to provide greater flexibility for parents so they can better accommodate their childcare and family planning needs. It affords new parents in our province the opportunity to avail of the maximum parental leave benefits under a federal program, while being assured that their job here is protected while they take time to care for their child.”
Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore
Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour 

- 30 -

Learn more
Government of Canada EI Maternity and Parental Benefits external link

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL external link  and @AESL_GovNL external link

Media contact
Ryan Crocker
Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
709-729-1795, 725-9595

2019 11 06                              3:35 p.m.