Sylvan Lake among first to pass parental leave bylaw for councillors

By Troy Gillard (Twitter: @Troy_Gillard)
February 28, 2018 - 12:03pm

The Town of Sylvan Lake has become one of the first municipalities in Alberta to approve a new parental leave bylaw for councillors.

The bylaw approved Monday allows councillors to take parental leave for up to 16 weeks before or after the birth or adoption of a child. That leave must start no earlier than 12 weeks before or 12 weeks after adoption or birth.

Councillors, including the Mayor, will be excused from attending council meeting while on leave, as well as from any tasks and duties associated with their role on council. A councillor will receive 55 per cent of their base monthly honourarium while on parental leave.

“Implementation of this bylaw would align with our guiding principal of continuous improvement,” Monday’s report to council read. “The new bylaw would make municipal government more family-friendly and more accessible for anyone seeking office.”

The Municipal Government Act was recently amended to allow for the creation of local parental leave bylaws. Prior to that, councils had the authority to permit extended absences for councillors on a case-by-case basis without them being subject to disqualification, but were not able to set ongoing standards on a system-wide basis.

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