Government of Yukon

March 27, 2013

Yukon tables legislation to assist parents of murdered, missing, or critically ill children

WHITEHORSE—The Yukon government tabled amendments today to the Employment Standards Act that will help parents caring for a critically ill child, or whose child is missing or has died due to a crime. The amendments will provide job protection for these parents when they take leaves of absence without pay and access new federal benefit programs.

The federal Employment Insurance Act will allow for up to 35 weeks of financial benefits for parents away from work to care for a critically ill child. The federal Department of Social Development Act provides up to 35 weeks of financial benefits for an employed parent who takes time off due to a missing child or a child who has died as the result of a crime.

“The Yukon government supports families and we believe it is important to assist parents in times of significant stress,” Community Services Minister Elaine Taylor said. “Like most other Canadian jurisdictions, we are bringing forward these amendments to ensure that parents who need access to these new federal programs are also supported under Yukon legislation.”

Similar to previous provisions made for compassionate care, bereavement, reservists leave, maternity and parental leaves, these amendments provide job protection with limited potential cost to employers.

The changes arise from Canada’s Parliament unanimously approving Bill C-44, the Helping Families in Need Act, on November 20, 2012. The critically ill child provisions are expected to take effect in June 2013, once the new benefits are proclaimed under Canada’s Employment Insurance Act. The provisions in regard to children who are missing or who died due to a crime took effect in January 2013.

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Matthew Grant
Cabinet Communications
Bonnie Venton Ross
Communications, Community Services

News Release #13-073