On May 31, 2022, the Alberta Employment Standards Code (the “ESC”) was amended to expand Bereavement and Reservist Leave rights effective immediately.
Bereavement Leave previously allowed employees who have been employed for at least 90 days to take 3 days of unpaid leave per year for the death of a family member.
The amendment allows employees who would have been parents (e.g. biological, adoptive, or surrogate) to take Bereavement Leave in the event of a miscarriage or stillbirth. In what may be a sign of amendments to come in other provinces, this amendment recognizes that prospective parents, including mothers who miscarry and those using a surrogate or adopting, need time off work to grieve their loss.
Reservist Leave was previously restricted to only 20 days in a calendar year. The amendment now allows qualifying employees to take as many unpaid days as necessary to participate in reservist activities.
Employers should familiarize themselves with the changes to the ESC. Employers should review their policies and handbooks to ensure that they update any explanations of the scope of bereavement or reservist leave, as necessary.
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