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Bill C-243

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First Session, Forty-second Parliament,
64-65-66 Elizabeth II, 2015-2016-2017
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-243
An Act respecting the development of a national maternity assistance program strategy
Reprinted as amended by the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities as a working copy for the use of the House of Commons at Report Stage and as reported to the House on May 3, 2017
Mr. Gerretsen
421189


SUMMARY
The purpose of this enactment is to provide for the development and implementation of a national maternity assistance program strategy to support women who are unable to work due to pregnancy and whose employer is unable to accommodate them by providing reassignment.
Available on the Parliament of Canada Web Site at the following address:
http://www.parl.gc.ca


1st Session, 42nd Parliament,
64-65-66 Elizabeth II, 2015-2016-2017
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-243
An Act respecting the development of a national maternity assistance program strategy
Preamble
Whereas the principle of gender equity demands that both men and women have an equal opportunity to participate and become fully integrated into all sectors of the labour force;
Whereas, in 2014, women represented 47.‍3% of the labour force, up from 45.‍7% in 1999 and 37.‍1% in 1976;
Whereas part of this integration involves seeing more women participate in occupations traditionally held by men, including those with potentially hazardous work environments;
Whereas women’s participation is increasing in a number of skilled trades and other non-traditional occupations, including heavy equipment operator, industrial electrician and construction craft labourer;
Whereas a woman’s pregnancy should not act as a barrier to full participation in the workforce, adversely affect her employment, inflict financial hardship or compromise the pursuit of her chosen career;
Whereas Quebec has a Safe Maternity Experience program that uses preventive measures to allow pregnant and nursing women to continue working and allows for preventive withdrawal in cases where an employer cannot reassign an employee or eliminate the hazards to her health or that of her unborn or breast-fed child;
And whereas Canada, unlike many other advanced democracies, does not have a long-term comprehensive national strategy to allow pregnant and nursing women to continue working and to financially support them in cases where they are unable to work during their pregnancy;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

National Maternity Assistance Program

Short title
1This Act may be cited as the National Maternity As-sistance Program Strategy Act.
Definition of Minister
2In this Act, Minister means the Minister of Employment and Social Development.
National Maternity Assistance Program
3(1)The Minister must, in collaboration with other federal ministers and with representatives of the provincial and territorial governments responsible for employment and other relevant stakeholders, conduct consultations on the prospect of developing a national maternity assist-ance program to support women who are unable to work due to pregnancy and whose employer is unable to accommodate them by providing reassignment. The consultations should include an assessment of
(a)the current demand for a national maternity as-sistance program;
(b)the adequacy of the current federal and provincial programs oriented to assisting women during pregnancy;
(c)the financial and other costs of implementing a national maternity assistance program;
(d)the potential social and economic benefits of a national maternity assistance program;
(e)any legal, constitutional or jurisdictional implications of implementing a national maternity assistance program; and
(f)the different types of workplaces in Canada in relation to gender equality and the impact of a national maternity assistance program on workplace gender equality.
Consultations
(2)The Minister must, in collaboration with other federal ministers, within a year after the day on which this Act comes into force, hold consultations to which representatives of the provincial and territorial governments responsible for employment and other relevant stakeholders are invited to participate, for the purpose of discussing the development of a strategy to implement a national maternity assistance program.
Report to Parliament
4(1)The Minister must cause a copy of a report setting out the conclusions of the consultations on a national maternity assistance program to be laid before each House of Parliament within three years after the day on which this Act comes into force.
Publication of report
(2)The Minister must post the report on the departmental Web site within 30 days after the day on which the report is tabled in Parliament.
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Published under authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons

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