New, Extended and More Flexible Statutory Leaves in British Columbia

On April 12, 2018, the British Columbia government granted third reading to Bill 6, Employment Standards Amendment Act, 2018 to better support working families by providing new, extended and more flexible maternity, parental and compassionate care leaves. The Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent. Specifically, when enacted, the Bill will: Pregnancy leave: Allow mothers to start their unpaid pregnancy leave, also known as maternity leave, as early as 13 weeks before the expected birth date, up from the current 11 weeks. This will provide workers with more flexibility to consider their personal, health and workplace circumstances when choosing to begin their pregnancy leave. Pregnancy leave is 17 consecutive weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave taken by expectant or new mothers near the end of a pregnancy and immediately after childbirth. Parental leave: Extend parental leave for a birth mother to 61 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave (previously 35 weeks),…

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