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MLAs are returning to the legislature for the next-to-last session before they face election in October with a hefty list of bills to pass. Here is a look at proposed legislation that will affect your business.

The carbon tax

Laws to enforce the territory’s carbon tax have not yet formally been passed, putting this item high on the list of priorities for the territorial government before the tax comes into effect on July 1. When enacted, the tax will cause an increase on gas prices, meaning that the costs of many of the goods you use to run your business will also likely increase. The cost of utilities, such as heating, are also expected to increase – unless you use electric heat, in which case it will be immediately rebated. The government has promised that revenues for the tax will be returned to taxpayers through rebates. However, it is unknown how much will be returned to business.

"Domestic violence leave" to be enshrined in the Employment Standards Act

The government is considering many changes to the Employment Standards Act in their final two sessions. One of which is the introduction of “domestic violence leave,” which would require employers to offer domestic violence leave to employees. As of yet, the length of the leave is undecided as well as whether it will be paid or unpaid. In addition, the government is considering unpaid leave for people caring for a critically ill or injured family member and extending parental leave.