On April 21, the government of Alberta announced Bill 17, the Labour Statutes Amendment Act, to provide Albertans with more job-protected time to attend to personal matters by updating bereavement and reservist leave rules for employees.
If passed, Bill 17 will amend the Employment Standards Code and the Labour Relations Code to:
- Allow employees who have been with the same employer for at least 90 days and who would have been parents, such as biological, adoptive, or surrogates, to take bereavement leave when a pregnancy ends in miscarriage or stillbirth. Employees can still take up to three days of bereavement leave in total per calendar year.
- Allow reservists who have worked at least 12 consecutive weeks for the same employer to take as much time as they need to attend annual reservist training by removing the 20-day limit on annual training for reservist leave.
- Allow academic staff, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellow associations to continue representing their respective members in collective bargaining indefinitely.
The changes to bereavement and reservist leaves will take effect upon Royal Assent. Changes that maintain the status quo for academic staff, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellow associations will take effect on July 1, 2022.