Friday, April 1, 2011

Workplace Standards for Stay at Home Parents!!

Have you guys seen the headlines? There is a lot of buzz about the new Canadian legislature which seeks to provide stay-at-home parents with "workplace equity and safety" under a proposed revision to the Employment Standards Act..

Currently according to Ontario labour law:

  • An employee must not work for more than five hours in a row without getting a 30-minute eating period (meal break) free from work.
  • The maximum number of hours most employees can be required to work in a day is eight hours, any additional hours must be voluntary and must be compensated by overtime.
  • An employee must have 11 consecutive hours free from work in each 24 hour period (aka can't work more then 13 hours in a given day).
  • An employee has the right to sick days, compassionate leave,  and "mental health days", aka 10 paid days of personal leave per year.

In this case the argument is being made that the employer of the stay at home mom or dad is in essence the government, in which case it is the responsibility of the Ontario government to begin offering the same basic workplace standards to full-time parents as they do to paid child-care workers.

If it passes this new bill would see the government hiring a "nanny force" to step in and provide the legally required breaks.  That's right, Ontario parents could see a government paid "nanny" stopping in at their home up to three times a day for 15-45 minute periods to provide breaks.  While on the premise these child-care workers would only be responsible for the welfare of the children.  They would not be allowed to take part in food preparation or other household chores.

Under the new law stay at home moms or dads would  be able to apply for "sick leave coverage". There would be a limit on the number of sick days a year that a parents can apply for coverage for, and a doctors note would be required as well.

The proposed bill would only cover "full-time" parents, those that report under $8000 in income on their taxes.  As well, it would only cover those whose children are not yet eligible to attend full time school. Basically if you currently qualify for the $100 per child a month "day care" bonus from the government, you would qualify under this new program. 

There is also some talk of looking into workplace biohazrd safety regulations as they apply to "bodily fluids", and applying them to the homefront.

This is an election issue folks! What are your thoughts?

For more info you can read up on it 

It's been a long week. I haven't been getting my breaks, and have fallen behind on news!!  Thank you Deanna from  Maple Leaf Mommy for bringing this to my attention, you rock!!