Government is making changes to the Labour Standards Code to provide employees with more time to support and care for their families. The changes, introduced today, Sept. 13, enhance combined pregnancy/parental leave, parental leave and caregiving leave. This aligns with recent federal changes to employment insurance benefits. “We’re making these changes so Nova Scotians have stronger job security when they need to care for a new child or a sick family member,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis. “We want employees to know that if they need to take time off to care for their families, there is support.” Changes include increasing both parental leave and combined pregnancy/parental leave from 52 weeks to 77 weeks. These changes ensure eligible employees can take a protected leave from work while accessing federal employment insurance benefits of 61 weeks for parental leave and 76 weeks for combined pregnancy/parental leave. Under the federal changes, eligible employees have a choice of parental benefits paid over a period of 35 or 61 weeks. The proposed changes will also create a new 16 week critically ill adult care leave and provide a broad definition of family member, to include persons who are like family, for both critically ill child and adult caregiving leaves. These proposed changes will come into effect on royal assent should the proposed bill be passed in the legislature.