HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia's government is extending the period of time that parents can take leave from their jobs to have a baby and look after the infant.

Changes introduced to the Labour Standards Code will mean parents can to take up to 77 weeks in combined pregnancy and parental leave.

The existing period of leave established under provincial legislation was 52 weeks.

The changes have taken effect in every other province except Prince Edward Island, which is also preparing to change its law.

The new legislation dovetails with federal changes made to employment insurance benefits in December 2017.

The provincial changes will also allow for a four-month period to care for a critically ill adult or child.