Breaking the barriers for women
The Liberal Party of Canada has started pushing the envelope of gender equality in the workforce and equal pay in 2018, and their other focus has been narrowing the gender pay gap.
Within their focus of gender equality in the work force, the Liberals have extended the budget for parental leave.
Bill Morneau, the Minster of Finance, made a comment in Parliament that while it’s excellent to see all the women that have been entering the workforce and adding to the Canadian economy, there are still barriers that block women from success in the workforce.
Just last month, the Liberal Party extended the budget for parental leave from 35 weeks to 40 weeks to help with those barriers that women face.
The hope is that with the extended leave, the second parent involved with raising the child will enable the mother to get back into the workforce sooner and have the other parent look after the child with the extra 5-week extended period.
In an interview with CBC, a parent by the name of Yulanda Julien stated that the extended parental leave “would have helped our entire family.”
Julien continued to say that this extended pay would have allowed him to stay in the house longer to help raise his child, adding that fathers also play a vital role in a child's upbringing.
However, even with the great news and plans that the Liberal Party have for women in the workforce, there seems to be a missed opportunity to make an even bigger change.
The Liberal Party did extend the parental leave, but the Employment Insurance (EI) benefits were not raised, which can cause issues for parents that are taking the time off for this leave.
Right now, the EI benefits are 55 cents to each dollar of the eligible earnings for the parents that choose the 12-month parental leave. But, for the couples that will go with the new 18-month leave, they will only be getting 33% of eligible earnings.
While the Liberal Party is making the workforce more accessible for women in terms of parental leave, they are also now trying to make the gender pay gap smaller.
Bill Morneau said that they have been working tirelessly to bridge the 12 cent hourly pay gap that still exists between men and women that work full time.
It’s a very exciting time for women in Canada. Finally their pleas for gender equality are being listened to. The new implements that are being put in place might seem small, but they are the step forward that women have been looking for.
There is still a long way to go for women in the work sector in Canada, but the Liberal Party is making it clear that they want to work with the women of this country in order to fully fulfill gender equity.