On May 8, the Government of Yukon proclaimed Bill 31 to amend the Employment Standards Act and protect jobs for Yukon employees who access new and amended parental leave and leave provisions for family caregiving purposes. The new legislation aligns the territory’s leave provisions with federal Employment Insurance programs so that Yukon employees can access the federal benefits while having job protection.
Workers now have the option of more time at home to adjust to the arrival of a newborn or to support a family member through end-of-life. These new and amended leave provisions provide support for Yukoners in a way that balances business priorities with those of the employees who may need to use them. By providing flexibility and job protection for employees who access these leave provisions, we are supporting a healthy workforce in the territory.
Minister of Community Services John Streicker
Parental Leave – The standard parental leave provides 37 weeks of unpaid leave. Parents taking parental leave will now have the option of extending it to 63 weeks of unpaid leave. As well, if a second parent is sharing either the standard or extended parental leave they will have the option of taking an additional five or eight weeks, depending on the type of parental leave selected. All of this leave will support parents so they can more readily access Employment Insurance benefits.
Compassionate Care – The Compassionate Care leave increases from eight to 28 weeks over a period of 52 weeks. It is available for people who provide end-of-life care or support for a family member who is gravely ill.
Leave Related to Critical Illness of a Child – While the amount of leave is remaining the same it is more flexible to allow family, or people who are like family, to now use the 37 weeks of leave over an extended period of 52 weeks to care or support a terminally ill child.
Leave Related to Critical Illness of an Adult – The new leave provides 17 weeks of unpaid leave for family members, or people who are like family, to provide care or support over a 52-week period for an adult family member who is critically ill or injured.
Definition of ‘family member’ – includes immediate family and other relatives, as well as other individuals considered to be like family regardless of marriage, common-law partnership, or legal parent-child relationships as defined in the Employment Insurance Regulations (Canada).