REGINA – The Saskatchewan government has changed its rules so legislature members can take parental leave and bring their babies to work.
The governing Saskatchewan Party and Opposition NDP collaborated on the changes that were adopted Monday. The move came after NDP member Nicole Sarauer announced her pregnancy earlier this year.
“It’s nice to not have to worry about whether or not … a maternity leave can be accommodated in my place of business,” Sarauer said Monday. “There’s always the fear of, for example, having to go on bed rest this session.”
Sarauer says while public attention on her pregnancy has been uncomfortable, it provided the chance to make the legislature a more accessible workplace. It may also encourage more women to join politics, she added.
The changes also allow MLAs to bring their babies into the legislative assembly.
And work will be done to install change tables in the legislature’s public and MLA washrooms. A high chair will also be brought into the cafeteria.
Deputy government house leader Jeremy Harrison says similar provisions are already in place in several other legislatures across Canada.
Last year, member of Parliament Karina Gould became the first federal cabinet minister to take a maternity leave.