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Bill would protect working parents caring for critically ill children

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The Selinger government today introduced legislative amendments that would protect employees from losing their jobs when caring for critically ill children or in the event that a child has died or disappeared as a result of a crime.

Under Bill 3, parents would be allowed:

  • up to 37 weeks off work to care for a critically ill child,
  • up to 104 weeks off work if a child has died as a result of a crime, and
  • up to 52 weeks off work if a child has disappeared as a result of a crime.

To qualify, employees must have worked for the same employer for at least 30 days and the child must be under the age of 18.

The government said the proposed amendments to work leaves under Manitoba's Employment Standards Code are designed to complement new federal income support benefits.

The federal benefits will be available for parents of a murdered or missing child in January 2013, and for parents of a critically ill child in June 2013.

Employees entitled to such a leave from their job must be a person who has care, custody or control of the child and is considered to be like a close relative, whether or not they are related.

An employee wishing to take either one of these leaves would be required to give their employer advance notice of at least one pay period, unless this is not possible. Notice of one pay period is also required when employees are returning to work early from the leave.

The government said the leaves are based on unanimous recommendations by the Labour Management Review Committee, which is made up of business and labour representatives.

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