Politics over pragmatism? Job-protected leaves for the death and disappearance of child due to crime or a critically ill child
On December 14, 2012, the federal Helping Families in Need Act (formerly Bill C–44) received Royal Assent and provisions were proclaimed in effect on March 24, 2013 and June 9, 2013. That Act among other things, amended the Canada Labour Code to permit an employee to take a job-protected leave of absence without pay if the employee is the parent of a child who has disappeared or died and it is probable, considering the circumstances, that the child disappeared or died as a result of a crime.
The Nova Scotia government has tabled a new Bill which proposes to amend the Labour Standards Code to create new unpaid leaves for parents and guardians. If passed, Bill 3, the Support for Parents of Critically Ill or Abducted Children Act, will give employees the right to take the following unpaid leaves:
Damages for wrongful dismissal are intended primarily to compensate the dismissed employee for income lost due to the dismissal. As such, the amount of such compensation, whether as a result of a settlement or a judgment by the court is, prima facie, taxable.
Our federal government’s recent introduction of proposed reforms to the employment insurance system has prompted the expected furor from both sides of the debate…
The federal Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development recently announced that the government is making significant changes to the employment insurance system to ensure its efficiency. At the same time as these changes were announced, the Canadian Press learned that the government has stopped providing Statistics Canada “key and current information about how much federal money is flowing to each of the provinces for EI claimants.”
The federal government is facing a $450-million class-action lawsuit for failing to provide sickness employment Insurance benefits to women already receiving maternity EI benefits while on maternity leave. The aim of the lawsuit is to ensure no other new mother who becomes seriously ill during maternity leave has to fight for sickness benefits.
Employment lawyers are generally quite adept at negotiating and resolving disputes arising out of the termination of an individual’s employment. We have all seen the statistics that only a miniscule number of dismissals result in a full trial and we know that in almost every case, it is better for the parties to reach a resolution than to proceed with litigation. That said, many traps exist in the settlement of a wrongful dismissal claim.
Under employment standards legislation, birth mothers receive a total of 52 weeks of leave when they combine maternity (17 weeks) and parental leave (35 weeks), and are entitled to receive a total of 50 weeks of EI benefits (15 weeks maternity, 35 weeks parental) for that period. However, the same benefits are not available to adoptive mothers, who only receive 37 weeks of parental leave and 35 weeks of EI benefits. Now a new movement to challenge the law to provide equal EI benefits to adoptive parents is gaining momentum…