Expecting women in Saskatchewan are now entitled to take more maternity leave.
New changes by the government allow moms-to-be to take 19 weeks of maternity leave, an increase from 18 weeks.
This means Saskatchewan is now leading the way in Canada, offering the longest maternity and adoption leave in the country.
A total of 78 weeks of leave will be available to new mothers or can be shared between parents. On top of the 19-week maternity leave, the province will extend parental leave from 34 to 59 weeks for the mother of a child, if she chooses to take the full leave.
If another parent decides to take the entire leave or is collecting Employment Insurance benefits, they’ll see parental leave expand from 37 weeks to 63 weeks.
The government also announced a new critically ill adult leave, which will offer 17 weeks for workers to care for critically ill adult family members.
Changes to the parental leave and the addition of a critically ill adult leave align job-protected leave provisions with benefits available through the federal Employment Insurance program.
“During a major life event, such as bringing a child into the family or assisting a loved one experiencing a serious illness, workers should not have to worry about job security,” labour relations and workplace safety minister Don Morgan said.
“Some of these amendments were also made to allow Saskatchewan workers to fully access benefits from the federal government,” he said.
The government also extended the 10 days of interpersonal violence leave to include survivors of all forms of sexual violence.
The time can be used to seek medical or legal help, access support services, or relocate to a safe space.