New maternity and parental leave provisions benefit all working parents

EDMONTON - "The changes to the maternity and parental leave provisions in the Employment Standards Act clearly places importance back on Alberta's families. These changes benefit all working parents," says Audrey Cormack, President of the Alberta Federation of Labour.

"Working mothers and fathers are no longer being penalized for choosing parenthood in this province. By mirroring the changes to those made to federal EI creates a level of jurisdictional equity that we rarely see in Alberta."

Cormack's comments follow the government's announcement to extend job-protected employment leave to parents for up to 52 weeks. The changes to the Employment Standards Act also include new provisions for job-protected parental leave for fathers and adoptive parents. Alberta's leave provisions are now in line with other provinces.

"I want to commend Mr. Dunford for demonstrating the political will to adopt all of the committee's recommendations. I am pleased to finally see a public consultation process that worked quickly and effectively," says Cormack.

"We are happy with today's announcement, but we as a Federation will still be lobbying the federal government to ensure that the benefits working parents receive will actually allow them to take advantage of the longer leave periods. For women and low-income families, living on 55% of your salary for an entire year is out of the question."

For further information call:

Audrey Cormack, President    @ 499-6530(cell)/ 483-3021(wk)/ 428-9367(hm)

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