Effective 1 Jan 2019, changes to Nova Scotia’s Labour Standards Code allow employees to take three days of paid domestic violence leave per year and pregnancy or parental leave from their hire date. Here are highlights of the revised code.
Paid Domestic Violence Leave
Employees with at least three months’ service can take up to three days’ paid domestic violence leave per calendar year. Pay must include all the hours an employee normally would have worked. Employees can take up to 16 continuous weeks of unpaid domestic violence leave and 10 continuous or intermittent days of protected leave.
Domestic violence is defined broadly as an act of physical, sexual, emotional or psychological abuse. It includes coercion, stalking, harassment or financial control. Employees can use this leave when they or their child needs to handle any of these matters stemming from domestic violence:
- Seek medical attention
- Receive victim services or professional counseling
- Relocate temporarily or permanently
- Obtain legal or law enforcement assistance
Pregnancy and Parental Leave
Employees no longer need to complete a minimum service period before taking maternity and parental leave. Biological and adoptive parents can take up to 77 weeks’ unpaid leave, comprising 16 pregnancy weeks and 61 parental leave weeks, or up to 77 weeks’ parental leave if no pregnancy leave is taken.
Employees must use the leave within 18 months of the child’s arrival at home. Some employees taking pregnancy or parental leave could qualify for maternity or parental leave benefits under the federal government’s Employment Insurance program.