Yukon tables legislation to assist parents

Minimum wage also going up today
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 04/01/2013

The Yukon government has tabled amendments to the Employment Standards Act that will help parents caring for a critically ill child, or whose child is missing or has died due to a crime. The amendments will provide job protection for these parents when they take leaves of absence without pay and access new federal benefit programs.

“Like most other Canadian jurisdictions, we are bringing forward these amendments to ensure that parents who need access to these new federal programs are also supported under Yukon legislation,” said Community Services Minister Elaine Taylor.

The federal Department of Social Development Act provides up to 35 weeks of financial benefits for an employed parent who takes time off due to a missing child or a child who has died as the result of a crime. And the federal Employment Insurance Act will allow for up to 35 weeks of financial benefits for parents away from work to care for a critically ill child.

Similar to previous provisions made for compassionate care, bereavement, reservists leave, maternity and parental leaves, these amendments provide job protection with limited potential cost to employers, said the Yukon government.

The changes arise from the passing of Bill C-44, the Helping Families in Need Act, in November 2012, it said. The critically ill child provisions are expected to take effect in June 2013, once the new benefits are proclaimed under Canada’s Employment Insurance Act. The provisions in regard to children who are missing or who died due to a crime took effect in January 2013.

Yukon's minimum wage also goes up as of today, from $10.30 to $10.54. The wage is calculated in accordance with the Consumer Price index in Whitehorse and adjusted every April 1.

The fair wage tendered to people working on government-tendered construction contracts is also increasing April 1 by 2.3 per cent across all four wage categories.

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