Labour Minister Christina Gray tabled Bill 17, The Fair and Family Friendly Workplaces Act, in the Alberta Legislature on May 24, 2017. The Bill amends the Employment Standards Code (ESC) and the Alberta Labour Relations Code, providing important improvements toward gender equality in the workplace. The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) says the Bill does not go far enough.

Bill 17 does not bring certain sections in the current ESC into compliance with human rights guarantees. Further, Bill 17 does not address certain equality gaps in the ESC. LEAF recently made recommendations to the Alberta Workplace Legislation Review for gender equality improvements in the ESC.

LEAF applauds Bill 17’s inclusion of additional job-protected leaves, including leaves for circumstances involving family responsibilities and domestic violence. LEAF also supports the addition of sick leave, the extension of maternity leave to 16 weeks, and leave in circumstances of termination of pregnancy.

However, LEAF notes the following problems in Bill 17:

LEAF supports the additional job-protected leaves proposed in Bill 17 and is hopeful that during consideration of Bill 17, the Legislative Assembly will consider further gender equality improvements to the ESC.

For further information:

Danielle Paradis, Chair, LEAF Edmonton, [email protected]