The changes provide job protection for parents and guardians who need to take leave from work when faced with a family crisis.
Labour Minister Frank Corbett said the changes were prompted by appeals from Valerie Loveys of New Waterford, whose daughter Stephanie died of cancer in 2008.
Nova Scotia is the third province to bring its labour code in line with federal changes in employment insurance benefits.
Under the new rules, parents and guardians are allowed to take up to 37 weeks off work to care for a critically ill child, or up to 104 weeks off if a child has died as a result of a crime.
As well, parents and guardians can take up to 52 weeks off if a child has disappeared as a result of a crime.