Welcome

Thank you for participating in this feedback process.  Your input is important to us.
 
This is an opportunity to update some provisions of the PEI Employment Standards Act (the Act) to align with significant changes in federal programs and to be in better alignment with other jurisdictions. The Government of Prince Edward Island is interested in public feedback on three possible amendments to the Act,  as well as proposed regulations:

o  Reducing the qualifying period for sick leave from 6 months to 3 months of employment;

o  Increasing the unpaid compassionate care leave from 8 to 28 weeks;

o  Aligning parental leave to protect employment of persons opting for the 18 month leave option; and

o  Creating regulations for the implementation of the recent addition of up to 3 days of paid leave and an additional 7 days of unpaid leave for employees who are victims of domestic violence, intimate partner violence or sexual assault.

A consultation draft of the proposed amendments can be found at https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/publication/employment-standards-act-family-friendly-amendments
and a consultation draft of the proposed regulations can be found at https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/publication/employment-standards-act-draft-regulations-public-consultation

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Please indicate whether you support the intent of each of the proposed amendments below.  There is space for you to expand on your answers if you wish.  You may also send additional written submissions to employmentstandardsconsults@gov.pe.ca
 
Excluding time to review background materials, this survey will take less than five minutes to complete.  If you wish to provide detailed commentary, it will take longer.  All questions are voluntary. 

Question Title

* 1. Proposed amendment: Reducing the qualifying period for sick leave from 6 months to 3 months of employment   

Background: PEI has the longest qualifying period of all jurisdictions in Canada.  PEI sick leave legislation currently requires six months of continuous employment to qualify for sick leave.   New Brunswick has a 90-day qualifying period for sick leave while Newfoundland and Labrador has a 30-day period. Nova Scotia requires no waiting period.  Manitoba and Saskatchewan have a 30-day and a 13-week qualifying period, respectively.  The proposed amendment (below) will improve employee access to sick leave and brings Prince Edward Island legislation in line with other jurisdictions.

Proposal:        Where an employee has been employed by an employer for a continuous period of at least three months, the employer shall, at the request of the employee, grant the employee leaves of absence without pay of up to three days, in total, during a twelve calendar-month period for sick leave.
           
Do you support the intent of this amendment?

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* 2. Proposed amendment: Increasing the unpaid compassionate care leave from 8 to 28 weeks.

Background: Compassionate Care Leave is an unpaid leave from employment provided to employees to care for family members who are at risk of dying within 26 weeks.  Most jurisdictions have already extended their respective Compassionate Care Leaves to 28 weeks, including our Atlantic Canada neighbours. Under the current PEI Employment Standards Act, employers are required to provide only up to eight weeks of unpaid leave. The proposed amendment (below) would bring PEI legislation in line with most other jurisdictions (Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick,
Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan).

Proposed language:  Entitlement to unpaid leave

Every employer shall grant an unpaid leave of absence of up to 28 weeks to an employee for the purpose of providing care and support to a family member of the employee if the employee provides the employer, before or after taking the unpaid leave of absence, with a copy of a certificate issued by a medical practitioner stating that a family member of the employee has a serious medical condition carrying with it a significant risk of death within 26 weeks.
           
Do you support the intent of this amendment?

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* 3. Proposed amendment: Align parental leave under the Act to protect jobs of employees who opt to take 18 months of Employment Insurance (EI)

The federal government recently made changes to parental benefits so that employees have an option to take EI parental benefits over a longer period of time.  However, currently PEI’s Act only provides job protection for up to 12 months for combined maternity/parental leave.

Ontario was the first province to enact changes aligning their parental leave provisions with the recent EI parental leave period.  There are indications that other jurisdictions may soon do the same.  Consistency of job protection and EI benefit duration will ensure employees do not lose their job because they took EI-eligible parental leave. 

Do you support the intent of this amendment?

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* 4. Proposed: Creating regulations for the implementation of the recent addition of up to 3 days of paid leave and an additional 7 days of unpaid leave for employees who are victims of domestic violence, intimate partner violence or sexual violence. 

Six provinces already provide some form of leave for domestic violence situations: Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Saskatchewan. 

Having reviewed the legislation in other jurisdictions, the Government of Prince Edward Island proposes regulations to define key terms, as well as address eligibility for leave, the purpose of the leave, confidentiality and disclosure, calculating leave usage, and what evidence will establish right to take leave.  Please refer to the consultation draft www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/publication/employment-standards-act-draft-regulations-public-consultation.


Do you support the intent of these regulations?

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* 5. This question is not mandatory, however, your response will help us  better understand who is giving us feedback.  (Your information will be used by the PEI Labour & Industrial Relations Division for the purposes of analyzing the demographics of responses to this consultation exercise.)

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* 6. May the PEI Labour & Industrial Relations Division contact you if it had questions about your responses?

Thank you for your time.  Your views are valued.

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