BILL 21

An Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:

1 Section 24 of the Employment Standards Act, chapter E-7.2 of the Acts of New Brunswick, 1982, is amended

(a) by repealing subsection (1) and substituting the following:

24(1) An employer, not later than four months after the vacation pay year ends, shall give to an employee who has less than eight years of continuous employment with the employer a vacation that as a minimum is equal to two regular work weeks or one day for each calendar month during the vacation pay year in which the employee worked, whichever is less.

(b) by adding after subsection (1) the following:

24(1.1) An employer, not later than four months after the vacation pay year ends, shall give to an employee who has eight or more years of continuous employment with the employer a vacation that as a minimum is equal to three regular work weeks or one and one-quarter days for each calendar month during the vacation pay year in which the employee worked, whichever is less.

2 Subsection 25(1) of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:

25(1) If an employee qualifies for a vacation under section 24, the employer shall

(a) at least one week in advance, notify the employee of the date the vacation is to begin, and

(b) at least one day before the vacation begins,

(i) if subsection 24(1) applies, pay the employee an amount equal to four per cent of the employee's wages for the vacation pay year, or

(ii) if subsection 24(1.1) applies, pay the employee an amount equal to six per cent of the employee's wages for the vacation pay year.

3 Subsection 26(1) of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:

26(1) If an employee's employment with an employer ceases before the end of the vacation pay year, the employer shall pay the employee, not later than at the same time as the employee's final pay is given,

(a) an amount equal to four per cent of the employee's wages for the vacation pay year if the employee has less than eight years of continuous employment with the employer, or

(b) an amount equal to six per cent of the employee's wages for the vacation pay year if the employee has eight or more years of continuous employment with the employer.

4 Section 44.02 of the Act is amended

(a) in subsection (2) in the portion following paragraph (b) by striking out "twelve consecutive weeks" and substituting "thirty-seven consecutive weeks";

(b) by repealing subsection (5);

(c) by repealing subsection (6);

(d) by repealing subsection (7);

(e) by repealing subsection (9);

(f) in subsection (12) by striking out "subsection (2), (5) or (6)" and substituting "subsection (2)";

(g) by adding after subsection (12) the following:

44.02(12.1) The aggregate amount of leave that may be taken by two employees under this section with respect to the same birth or adoption shall not exceed thirty-seven weeks.

44.02(12.2) The aggregate amount of leave that may be taken by one or two employees under this section and section 43 with respect to the same birth shall not exceed fifty-two weeks.

5 The Act is amended by adding after section 44.02 the following:

SICK LEAVE

44.021(1) An employer shall, upon the request of an employee, grant the employee leaves of absence without pay of up to five days during a twelve calendar month period for sick leave if the employee has been in the employ of the employer for more than ninety days.

44.021(2) If an employee requests a leave of absence under subsection (1) that is four or more consecutive calendar days in length, the employer may require the employee to provide the employer with a certificate of a medical practitioner certifying that the employee is incapable of working due to illness or injury.

44.021(3) An employee requesting a leave of absence under this section shall advise the employer, subject to subsections (1) and (2), of the anticipated duration of the leave.

44.021(4) The duties of an employer under this section are in addition to and do not derogate from the duties of an employer under section 42.1 of the Workers' Compensation Act.

FAMILY RESPONSIBILITY LEAVE

44.022(1) An employer shall, upon the request of an employee, grant the employee leaves of absence without pay of up to three days during a twelve calendar month period to meet responsibilities related to the health, care or education of a person in a close family relationship with the employee.

44.022(2) An employee intending to take a leave of absence under this section shall advise the employer of the employee's intention to take the leave, the anticipated commencement date of the leave and, subject to subsection (1), the anticipated duration of the leave.

COURT LEAVE

44.023(1) An employer shall grant an employee a leave of absence without pay for any period that the employee is absent from work as a result of being

(a) summoned to serve on a jury,

(b) selected to serve on a jury, or

(c) served with a summons to attend at the hearing of an action, application or proceeding as a witness.

44.023(2) If an employer grants an employee a leave of absence with pay in the circumstances set out in subsection (1), the employer may require the employee to reimburse the employer for any amount that the employee receives as a jury or witness fee, exclusive of any amount that the employee receives as compensation for travel, meal or accommodation expenses.

6 Section 44.03 of the Act is repealed and the following is substituted:

44.03(1) In this section

"funeral" includes a memorial service.

44.03(2) An employer shall grant to an employee a leave of absence without pay of up to five consecutive calendar days on the death of a person in a close family relationship with the employee to be taken during the period of bereavement and to begin not later than the day of the funeral.

44.03(3) An employee intending to take a leave of absence under this section shall advise the employer of the employee's intention to take the leave, the anticipated commencement date of the leave and, subject to subsection (2), the anticipated duration of the leave.

7 Subsection 44.04(2) of the Act is amended

(a) in paragraph (a) by striking out "and" at the end of the paragraph;

(b) in paragraph (b) by striking out the period at the end of the paragraph and substituting a comma followed by "and";

(c) by adding after paragraph (b) the following:

(c) shall be deemed to have been continuously employed with the same employer during the leave of absence.

8 This Act comes into force on December 31, 2000.