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Client Update: Nova Scotia Labour Standard Code changes – domestic violence leave & pregnancy / parental eligibility

Following the various Stakeholder Consultations (which Stewart McKelvey participated in on behalf of Nova Scotia Employers), the Government has changed the Labour Standards Code Regulations effective January 1, 2019 to:

  1. a) provide for up to three days paid domestic violence leave in each calendar year (and details respecting the taking of leave are set out in the Regulations; and
  2. b) there is now no eligibility period for pregnancy and / or parental leave – ie. employees are eligible for such leave as soon as they are hired (this is consistent with most other jurisdictions).

Below is the Communication sent by Government to Stakeholders:

Domestic Violence Leave

The Regulations provide for domestic violence leave to be paid by the employer for up to 3 days in each calendar year. A paid day of leave must not be less than the employee’s wages for all hours they would have worked on the day of the leave. For example, if a full-time employee was scheduled to work 7 hours on the day of their leave, the employee would receive regular pay for 7 hours. Similarly, if a part-time employee was scheduled to work 4 hours, the employee would receive regular pay for 4 hours.

In addition, if an employee takes any part of a day as leave, it is counted as one full day of paid leave. An employee can determine, however, which days of leave are to be considered the paid leave days. If an employee has two-hour appointments on different days, and also requires three full consecutive days off, the employee can request that the two-hour appointments be considered unpaid domestic violence leave and that they be paid for the three full consecutive days off. If the employee does not make a specific request, however, the employer will consider their first three days off, or parts of days off, as the three paid days.

The Regulations also provide authority and support for the (draft) Notification Form to be requested by employers and completed by employees and the service providers they will be engaging with as part of the domestic violence leave.

Eligibility Period for Pregnancy and Parental Leave

The Regulations provide that there is no eligibility period for pregnancy and/or parental leave. As such, employees are eligible for pregnancy and/or parental leave as soon as they are hired.

The links to the two Regulations are:

https://www.novascotia.ca/just/regulations/regs/2018-208.pdf
https://www.novascotia.ca/just/regulations/regs/2018-210.pdf


This update is intended for general information only. If you have questions about the above, please contact a member of our Labour and Employment group.

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