The Saskatchewan government is amending its provincial employment act to add eight additional weeks of parental leave.

The additional weeks of leave will be available to employees entitled to the province’s new shared parental employment insurance benefit.

In a press release, the government said the extra weeks will give employees job protection while they access the parental leave benefit.

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The amendments will also expand the candidate public office leave to include employees running for election to an Indigenous band council, allow strikes and lockouts to occur when an application is pending before the provincial Labour Relations Board and re-establish the court’s ability to reinstate employees who were discriminated against by their employers, among other changes.

“The changes we are making will ensure employees can enjoy bringing a child into their family or run for band council knowing their jobs are protected,” said Don Morgan, the province’s labour relations and workplace safety minister.