Bereavement          Holidays           Vacation Leave

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Disclaimer: The information contained herein is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or an opinion on any issue.  Users are advised to seek legal advice from their legal counsel prior to taking (or omitting to take) any action based on the information contained herein.  While we periodically review and update the information contained herein, we do not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information contained herein and the information should not be relied upon as accurate, timely or fit for any particular purpose. This information was constructed on October 15th 2018.

Introduction

In this section we’ve gathered information on Canadian Parental leave regulations which includes the following:

  • Maternity Leave
  • Paternity Leave
  • Adoption Leave
  • Leave related to death or disappearance

Not all apply to each province, select the province you are searching for in the left-hand side and scroll down to find the different regulations.

What are Federally Regulated Employees entitled to in terms of Parental/Family Leave in Canada?

Federally Regulated Employees include the following

If you are employed by one of the following businesses and industries, you are more than likely working in a federally regulated sector:

  • banks
  • marine shipping, ferry and port services
  • air transportation, including airports, aerodromes and airlines
  • railway and road transportation that involves crossing provincial or international borders
  • canals, pipelines, tunnels and bridges (crossing provincial borders)
  • telephone, telegraph and cable systems
  • radio and television broadcasting
  • grain elevators, feed and seed mills
  • uranium mining and processing
  • businesses dealing with the protection of fisheries as a natural resource
  • many First Nation activities
  • most federal Crown corporations
  • private businesses necessary to the operation of a federal act

Federally regulated employees are entitled to unpaid leave, except bereavement leave which is paid.

Maternity-related reassignment and leave

An employee who is pregnant or nursing can ask their employer to modify their job or reassign them if continuing to do their present work poses a risk to their health, the health of their unborn child, or the health of their baby. This request must be accompanied by a medical certificate indicating how long the risk will likely last and what activities/conditions the employee should avoid.

[Division VII, 204]

Maternity and parental leave

Maternity leave

Female employees—including managers and professionals—are entitled to up to 17 weeks of unpaid maternity leave if they have completed six consecutive months of continuous employment with the same employer before their leave begins.

She can take this leave any time during the period that begins 13 weeks before the expected date of delivery and ends 17 weeks after the actual delivery date.

Maternity leave can be extended up to the day on which the child is born if the birth has not occurred within the 17-week leave period.

If the employee chooses not to take maternity leave, their employer may not compel her to take such leave unless it can be shown that she is unable to perform essential functions of her job.

[Division VII, 206]

Parental leave

Natural and adoptive parents are also eligible for up to 63 weeks of unpaid parental leave under the same conditions as those for maternity leave.

They can take this leave any time during the 78-week period starting the day the child is born or the day the child comes into their care.

[Division VII, 206.1]

Combining maternity and parental leave

Female employees who have given birth can take both maternity and parental leave, but only one period of time for each type of leave. If they also want to take parental leave, they must do so in one continuous period of time that is not interspersed with periods of work.

The total duration of maternity and parental leaves combined cannot exceed 78 weeks.

[Division VII, 206.2]

Hospitalization of the child during leave

If the child is hospitalized shortly after birth or adoption, the maternity or parental leave can be interrupted.

The period within which the employee can take the maternity or parental leave will be extended by the number of weeks during which the child is hospitalized.

However, regardless of the duration of the hospitalization, maternity leave must end no more than 52 weeks after the date of delivery and parental leave must end no later than 104

weeks after the day on which the child is born or comes into the employee's actual care.

[Division VII, 206.1(2.2)]

Interruption of parental leave for other leaves

It is possible for an employee to interrupt their parental leave in order to take:

  • compassionate care leave
  • leave related to critical illness
  • leave related to death or disappearance of a child
  • sick leave
  • work-related illness and injury leave
  • reservist leave (except for the purposes of annual training)

Parental leave is to resume immediately after the other leave ends, but cannot extend beyond 104 weeks after the day on which the child is born or comes into the employee's care.

[Division VII, 206.1(2.3)]

 

Alberta

Maternity and parental leave

Employees are eligible for maternity and parental leave if they have been employed at least 90 days with the same employer.

Eligible employees can take time off work without pay for maternity or parental leave without risk of losing their job.

Employers must grant maternity or parental leave to eligible employees and give them their same, or equivalent, job back when they return to work.

Employers aren’t required to pay wages or benefits during leave unless stated in an employment contract or collective agreement.

Employees on maternity or parental leave are considered to be continuously employed, for the purposes of calculating years of service.

The length of maternity leave is 16 weeks and the maximum length of parental leave is 62 weeks.

Employee eligibility

Employees are eligible for maternity or parental leave if they’ve been employed at least 90 days with the same employer.

Employees with less than 90 days of employment may still be granted leave. However, their employers aren’t required under employment standards legislation to grant them leave.

Employers can’t discriminate against, lay off or terminate an employee, or require them to resign, because of pregnancy or childbirth.

If both parents work for the same employer, the employer isn’t required to grant leave to both employees at the same time.

Length of leave

Maternity Leave

Birth mothers can take up to 16 consecutive weeks of unpaid maternity leave. The number of weeks of leave exceeds the Employment Insurance benefit length by one week in recognition of the waiting period. Employees should be aware of this before taking their leave.

Leave can start any time within the 13 weeks leading up to the estimated due date and no later than the date of birth.

If pregnancy interferes with the employee’s job performance during the 12 weeks before their due date, employers can require that the employee start maternity leave earlier by notifying the employee in writing.

Birth mothers must take at least 6 weeks after birth for health reasons, unless:

the employer agrees to an early return to duties, and

the employee provides a medical certificate stating the return will not endanger her health

A pregnancy that ends other than in a live birth

If a pregnancy ends in a miscarriage or stillbirth within 16 weeks of the estimated due date, the employee is still entitled to maternity leave but is not entitled to parental leave. The leave will end 16 weeks after it begins.

Paternal Leave

Birth and adoptive parents can take up to 62 weeks of unpaid parental leave. The number of weeks of leave exceeds the Employment Insurance benefit length by one week in recognition of the waiting period. Employees should be aware of this before taking their leave.

Parental leave can be taken by:

  • the birth mother, immediately following maternity leave,
  • the other parent,
  • adoptive parents, or
  • both parents shared between them

Leave can start any time after the birth or adoption of a child but must be completed within 78 weeks of the date the baby is born or placed with the parents.

Giving notice

Medical certificate

Employers can require employees to submit a medical certificate, confirming pregnancy and estimated delivery date. A medical certificate may be issued by a nurse practitioner or physician.

Starting leave

Employees must give employers written notice at least 6 weeks before starting maternity or parental leave. Employees aren’t required to specify a return date at that time, but may wish to do so.

If they fail to give notice for medical reasons or a situation related to the birth or adoption, parents are still eligible for leave:

Maternity leave: provide written notice and a medical certificate to the employer within 2 weeks of mother’s last day at work, or as soon as possible

Parental leave: provide written notice to the employer as soon as possible

A birth mother on maternity leave isn’t required to give her employer notice before taking parental leave, unless she originally arranged to only take 16 weeks of maternity leave.

Parents who intend to share parental leave must advise their respective employers of their intention to do so. Two employees working for the same employer may combine parental leave for a maximum of 62 weeks. This may be increased in the future to align with Employment Insurance benefits.

Ending leave

Employees must give their employer's written notice at least 4 weeks before they:

  • return to work
  • will not be returning to work after their leave ends

Employers aren’t required to reinstate employees who fail to give notice or report to work the day after their leave ends, unless the failure is due to unforeseen or unpreventable circumstances.

If an unexpected circumstance occurs, employers can approve an extension of leave, but aren’t obligated to do so.

Vacation days and pay

Annual vacation earned prior to leave must be taken within 12 months after it was earned. If this time falls while the employee is on leave, the employee must:

  • take the remaining vacation time at the end of their leave, or
  • get approval from the employer to take the vacation time at a later date

Termination of employment

No employer may terminate the employment of or lay off an employee solely because the employee is entitled to or has started maternity or parental leave. Termination of employment may occur if:

  • the employer suspends or discontinues the business; in this case, the employer must reinstate the employee if the business starts up again within 52 weeks after their leave ends, or
  • the reason for the termination is unrelated to the employee requesting or taking the leave

Employers can’t discriminate against, lay off, terminate or require an employee to resign because of pregnancy or childbirth.

Part 2, Division 7 of the Employment Standards Code sets out the rules for maternity and parental leave. The legislation entitles eligible employees to a period of leave without pay, at the end of which they must be reinstated in their same, or an equivalent, job.

 

British Columbia 

The Employment Standards Act [Part 6, Section 50] requires employers to grant employees the following periods of unpaid leave. An employee does not need to work for a specified period to qualify for leave.

Maternity leave

A pregnant employee is entitled to up to 17 consecutive weeks of unpaid maternity leave. This leave may start no earlier than 13 weeks before the expected birth date and must end no earlier than six weeks after the birth date unless the employee requests a shorter period.

If maternity leave is requested after the birth of a child, the employee is entitled to up to 17 consecutive weeks of leave beginning on the date of birth.

If maternity leave is requested after termination of a pregnancy, the employee is entitled to up to six consecutive weeks of leave beginning on the termination date.

An initial period of leave may be extended by up to six consecutive weeks if an employee is unable to return to work for reasons relating to the birth or termination of a pregnancy.

An employer may request a doctor’s or nurse practitioner’s note stating the expected or actual birth date or termination date or reasons for requesting additional leave.

If an employee on leave asks to return from leave earlier than six weeks after the birth, an employer may require the employee to provide a doctor’s or nurse practitioner’s certificate stating the employee is able to resume work.

Parental leave

A birth mother who takes pregnancy leave is entitled to 61 consecutive weeks of unpaid parental leave. A birth mother must begin her parental leave immediately after her pregnancy leave ends unless she and the employer agree otherwise. 

A birth mother who does not take pregnancy leave and other parents are entitled to up to 62 consecutive weeks of unpaid parental leave. The leave can begin anytime within 78 weeks of the birth or placement of the child.

An initial period of parental leave may be extended up to five consecutive weeks if the child requires an additional period of parental care.

An employer may require an employee to provide a doctor’s or nurse practitioner’s certificate or other evidence that the employee is entitled to the leave or leave extension.

Request for Leave

The Act says that a request for pregnancy or parental leave must be made in writing at least four weeks before the proposed start date.  However, the courts and the Employment Standards Tribunal have said that failure to give written notice does not affect the employee’s entitlement to the leave.  Employees are encouraged to tell their employers the date they will be going on leave well in advance and to put it in writing to avoid misunderstandings.

Employment considered continuous

If an employee is on maternity leave, employment is considered continuous for the purposes of calculating annual vacation and termination entitlements, as well as for pension, medical or other plans of benefit to the employee.

The employee is entitled to all increases in wages and benefits that the employee would have received if not on leave.

Conditions of employment to remain the same during leave

 An employer may not terminate an employee, or change a condition of employment, because of a leave or jury duty without the employee’s written consent.

Return to work

When the leave or jury duty ends, an employee must be returned to his or her former position or to a comparable position.  It is the employer’s responsibility to contact the employee to make arrangements for the employee’s return to work.

 

 

Manitoba

Employment Standards Code, [Division 9]

Who qualifies for maternity leave?

Employees who have worked with the same employer for at least seven consecutive months and are expecting to give birth to a child are entitled to take maternity leave.

How long is maternity leave?

The leave is up to 17 weeks long.

Do employees get paid when on leave?

No. Employers are not required to pay wages to employees while on leave. For all leaves, the legislation only requires employers to provide the time off and allow employees to return to their job when the leave has ended. Employers can, and often do, give greater benefits than those provided for in the legislation.

However, other federal programs may provide income replacement. Employees should contact the federal government to find out what types of leaves have income replacement.

The only exception under The Employment Standards Code where an employer is required to pay a portion of a leave is under the Domestic Violence Leave.

When can an employee start her maternity leave?

Maternity leave can begin up to 17 weeks before the expected date of the birth.

When must employees end maternity leave?

Generally, the leave will end 17 weeks after it began. The latest that a leave can last is 17 weeks after the birth.

What if employees have started their leave and the birth is after the expected due date?

Employees are entitled to more maternity leave equal to the number of days between the expected date and the birth. For example, if the birth is 14 days after the estimated date of delivery, the mother would receive an additional 14 days of maternity leave.

How do employees start maternity leave?

Employees requesting maternity leave must give their employers at least four weeks' written notice before the leave. They must also provide a medical certificate indicating the estimated date of delivery.

What if employees do not give the required notice?

Expectant mothers are still entitled to maternity leave if they fail to give four weeks written notice. Within two weeks of stopping work, employers must receive a medical certificate stating the expected date of delivery and noting any dates employees were unable to work because of the pregnancy in the 17 weeks before the expected date of birth. This time missed from work can be included in the maternity leave.

What happens when maternity leave ends?

Employees, who have taken maternity leave and also wish to take parental leave, must do so immediately following the maternity leave, unless the employer agrees to a different arrangement.

How do employees start parental leave after maternity leave?

Employees wanting to take parental leave must give employers notice in writing at least four weeks before the leave. More information can be found on the Parental Leave fact sheet.

What if the employer refuses to bring the employee back to work?

Employees must be allowed to return to their job, or comparable job, with the same or greater pay and benefits when they return from leave. Employees who have been refused by their employer can file a complaint with Employment Standards within six months after the date the employee should have been reinstated.

Who qualifies for parental leave?

Employees who have worked with the same employer for at least seven consecutive months and have become a parent by birth or adoption are entitled to the leave.

How long is parental leave?

As of June 4, 2018, parental leave is now 63 weeks long instead of 37 weeks long.

For parents whose child comes into their care before June 4, 2018, the leave will remain 37 weeks long.

Employees must take the leave in one continuous period, Employees, who have taken maternity leave and also wish to take parental leave, must do so immediately following the maternity leave, unless the employer agrees to a different arrangement.

Do employees get paid when on leave?

No. Employers are not required to pay wages to employees while on leave. For all leaves, the legislation only requires employers to provide the time off and allow employees to return to their job when the leave has ended. Employers can, and often do, give greater benefits than those provided for in the legislation.

However, other federal programs may provide income replacement. Employees should contact the federal government to find out what types of leaves have income replacement.

The only exception under The Employment Standards Code where an employer is required to pay a portion of a leave is under the Domestic Violence Leave.

Are there programs to pay employees while on leave?

The federal government has income support programs to cover certain types of leave. 

How does an employee start parental leave?

Parental leave can begin up to 18 months after the birth or adoption of a child. Employees requesting parental leave must give the employer at least four weeks written notice before the leave.

Employees who have taken maternity leave and also wish to take parental leave must do so immediately following the maternity leave, unless the employer agrees to a different arrangement.

Who decides what type of leave an employee is taking?

Employees tell their employers they are needing to take a leave. The employer will need enough detail to show the time off work meets the requirements of the leave.

When employees request time off, the employer should ask whether they are advising of a leave available under The Employment Standards Code or asking for approval for time off. Employers do not control when employees can take a leave provided by law, but they do control other types of time off work.

What if employees don't give notice?

Employees are still entitled to parental leave if they do not give four weeks written notice. If an employee does not give notice, the leave can be shortened by the amount of notice not given. For example, an employee who only gives two weeks written notice would be entitled to 35 weeks leave instead of the full 37 weeks. 

What happens when the leave ends?

Employees must be returned to the position the employee occupied when the leave began or to a comparable position, with not less than the pay and benefits the employee earned immediately prior to the leave.

What if the employer refuses to bring the employee back to work?

Employees must be allowed to return to their job, or comparable job, with the same or greater pay and benefits when they return from leave. Employees who have been refused by their employer can file a complaint with Employment Standards within six months after the date the employee should have been reinstated.

New Brunswick

Who qualifies for maternity leave?

Any pregnant employee is entitled to maternity leave.

What is the maximum duration of maternity leave, and when must it be taken?

Maternity leave is up to seventeen (17) weeks of unpaid leave, and it must begin no earlier than thirteen (13) weeks before the probable delivery date.

Does an employer have to pay for a maternity leave or a child care leave?

No, an employer is only required to allow an employee to take a leave of absence without pay for maternity or child care. Employers can offer greater benefits than those provided for in the Employment Standards Act.

Does an employee have other options for compensation while on maternity leave or child care leave?

Yes. The government of Canada offers a program under Employment Insurance that covers certain leaves.

Is an employee required to give notice of maternity leave?

Yes, a pregnant employee who wishes to take maternity leave must;

  • advise her employer four months prior to her expected delivery date or as soon as her pregnancy is confirmed, whichever is later; and
  • provide her employer with a medical doctor’s certificate confirming pregnancy and the probable delivery date; or
  • in the absence of an emergency, give her employer two weeks’ notice prior to commencing her maternity leave.

Can an employer require an employee to begin a leave of absence when her work is affected by her pregnancy?

Yes, an employer may require a pregnant employee to begin a leave of absence without pay when she can no longer reasonably perform her duties or the performance of her work is materially affected by her pregnancy. Any employer imposed leave of absence would be in addition to any maternity leave the employee is entitled to under the Employment Standards Act. Therefore, the maternity leave is not affected by the employer imposed leave.

Can an employer dismiss, suspend or lay-off an employee, or refuse to employ a person because she is pregnant?

No. An employer cannot dismiss, suspend or lay-off or refuse to employ a person because she is pregnant.

How does a leave of absence affect an employee’s employment status?

An employee continues to accumulate seniority during a leave of absence; therefore, the employee’s employment status is not affected.

Who qualifies for child care leave?

All parents, natural or adoptive, are entitled to child care leave.

What is the maximum duration of child care leave?

Child care leave is up to sixty-two (62) consecutive weeks of unpaid leave.

Can either parent take childcare leave, and can child care leave be shared?

Yes, either parent of a newborn or adopted child is entitled to take child care leave. Child care leave may be shared by parents; however, regardless of how it is divided, the leave cannot exceed a total of sixty-two (62) weeks. Furthermore, unless otherwise agreed to by the employer and the employee, where maternity leave and childcare leave are taken by the same employee, the leaves must be taken in a consecutive manner.

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

Who is eligible for pregnancy leave?

A pregnant employee who has been employed by the same employer for at least 20 consecutive weeks.

How much notice of their intention to take pregnancy leave must an employee give to their employer?

At least 2 weeks written notice must be given. As well, the employee must provide the employer with a certificate from a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner stating the estimated birth date.

How long can pregnancy leave last?

Up to 17 weeks of unpaid leave.

When does pregnancy leave begin?

Leave cannot start earlier than 17 weeks before the expected birth date.

What if the employee is forced to stop work because of miscarriage or stillbirth?

The employee is entitled to 17 weeks after the pregnancy leave began or 6 weeks after the stillbirth or miscarriage, whichever is later.

Is written notice required if the employee wants to end pregnancy leave early or does not intend to take parental leave?

Yes, 4 weeks written notice must be given before the employee returns to work. What happens when the employee returns to work from pregnancy leave? Upon return to work, an employee is to be placed in the same or similar position with duties, benefits and wages they had prior to taking pregnancy leave.

What effect does being on pregnancy leave have on an employee’s entitlements under the Labour Standards Act?

Unless the employer and employee agree otherwise, the period spent on pregnancy leave does not count with respect to the accumulation of time for the purposes of notice of termination, vacation entitlement, or other benefits under the Act.

Who is eligible for parental leave?

An employee who has been employed by the same employer for at least 20 consecutive weeks and who is the parent of a child.

When does parental leave have to be taken?

Parental leave must begin within 35 weeks of the birth of the child or when the child comes into the care and custody of the parent for the first time.

Can an employee take pregnancy leave, go back to work for a time and then take parental leave?

No. Where an employee takes pregnancy leave, the parental leave must begin when the pregnancy leave ends, unless the child has not come into the care of the parent for the first time.

How long can parental leave last?

Up to 61 weeks of unpaid leave.

How much notice of their intention to take parental leave does an employee have to give their employer? At least 2 weeks written notice must be given.

Can an employee return to work before the end of the 61 weeks?

Yes, however, 4 weeks written notice has to be given to the employer before the employee can return to work.

What happens when the employee returns to work from parental leave?

Upon return to work, an employee is to be placed in the same or similar position with duties, benefits and wages they had prior to taking parental leave.

What effect does being on parental leave have on an employee’s entitlements under the Labour Standards Act?

Unless the employer and employee agree otherwise, the period spent on parental leave does not count with respect to the accumulation of time for the purpose.

Leave related to adoption

An employee who has been employed by the same employer for at least 20 consecutive weeks is eligible for adoption leave.

The Employee must give the Employer at least 2 weeks’ notice in writing or if the child comes into their custody sooner than expected, written notice of having taken adoption leave within 2 weeks of having stopped work.

Adoption leave can last up to 17 weeks of unpaid leave.

Adoptive parents are entitled to 61 weeks parental leave.

An employee can return to work before the end of the 17 weeks, however, 4 weeks written notice has to be given to the employer before the employee can return to work.

Upon return to work an employee is to be placed in the same or similar position with duties, benefits and wages they had prior to taking adoption leave.

Unless the employer and employee agree otherwise, the period spent on adoption leave does not count with respect to the accumulation of time for the purposes of notice of termination, vacation entitlement, or other benefits under the Act.

Nova Scotia

Pregnancy and Parental Leaves

Pregnancy leave is an unpaid leave for pregnant employees. It can last up to 17 weeks. The employee can start the leave up to 16 weeks before the expected date of delivery. She must also take at least one week after the date of delivery. Employees who have worked for an employer for at least one year may qualify for this leave. An employer can require that an employee take an unpaid leave of absence if her pregnancy interferes with her work. There are times when the Human Rights Act or the employee’s contract prevents this.

The Labour Standards Code also allows parents to take parental leave to care for their newborn or newly adopted children. This unpaid leave is up to 52 weeks and is available to every parent that qualifies for it. To qualify for the leave an employee must have worked for the employer for at least one year and must become a parent to the child through birth or adoption.

To Take Pregnancy or Parental Leave

To take pregnancy or parental leave, an employee must give the employer at least four weeks’ notice of both the date on which leave will start and, if the employee plans to return early, the planned date of return to work. If the employee cannot give four weeks’ notice of leave because the baby is born early, because of a medical condition, or because of an unexpected adoption placement, then the employee must give as much notice as possible.

An employer can ask for proof of entitlement for pregnancy or parental leave. This can include a certificate from a doctor or adoption worker.

If an employee is taking both pregnancy and parental leaves, she must take them one right after the other and not go back to work between the two leaves. In this case, she can take up to 52 weeks’ total leave (17 pregnancy and 35 parental). If an employee is taking parental leave but not pregnancy leave, the employee can take up to 52 weeks’ leave in the time after the child is born or arrives in the home. The employee loses this right if the leave is not taken within 52 weeks after the child arrives in the home.

If a newly arrived child must go into the hospital for more than one week, the employee can return to work and use the rest of the parental leave after the child comes out of the hospital.

Employees who take pregnancy and/or parental leave may qualify for parental leave benefits under the federal government’s Employment Insurance program.  For more detail on these special benefits, please contact Service Canada.

Can an employer end an employee's employment while the employee is on pregnancy or parental leave?

When an employee returns from pregnancy and/or parental leave, the employee must be accepted back into the same position or a comparable one with no loss of seniority or benefits. There are some situations where an employer may not be required to accept the employee back to work. See section 30(2) of the Labour Standards Code.

Do employee's accumulated vacation leave while they are on pregnancy/parental leave?

No, employees do not earn vacation leave while they are on pregnancy or parental leave.

 

Ontario

Pregnant employees have the right to take pregnancy leave of up to 17 weeks of unpaid time off work. In some cases the leave may be longer. Employers do not have to pay wages to someone who is on pregnancy leave.

New parents have the right to take parental leave – unpaid time off work when a baby or child is born or first comes into their care. Birth mothers who take pregnancy leave are entitled to up to 61 weeks’ leave. Birth mothers who do not take pregnancy leave and all other new parents are entitled to up to 63 weeks’ parental leave.

Parental leave is not part of pregnancy leave and so a birth mother may take both pregnancy and parental leave. In addition, the right to a parental leave is independent of the right to pregnancy leave.

Employees on leave have the right to continue participation in certain benefit plans and continue to earn credit for length of employment, length of service, and seniority. In most cases, employees must be given their old job back at the end of their pregnancy or parental leave.

An employer cannot penalize an employee in any way because the employee is or will be eligible to take a pregnancy or parental leave, or for taking or planning to take a pregnancy or parental leave.

Ontario's ESA and the federal Employment Insurance Act

The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) provides eligible employees who are pregnant or are new parents with the right to take unpaid time off work.

In contrast, the federal Employment Insurance Act provides eligible employees with maternity and/or parental benefits that may be payable to the employee during the period they are off on an ESA pregnancy or parental leave.

The rules governing the right to take time off work for pregnancy and parental leave under the ESA are different from the rules regarding the payment of maternity benefits and parental benefits under the federal Employment Insurance Act. For example, a new father may choose to commence a parental leave under the ESA up to 78 weeks after the child is born. However, there may be restrictions on accessing the employment insurance parental benefits at that time. 

Pregnancy leave

Pregnant employees have the right to take pregnancy leave of up to 17 weeks, or longer in certain circumstances, of unpaid time off work.

Qualifying for pregnancy leave

A pregnant employee is entitled to pregnancy leave whether she is a full-time, part-time, permanent or term contract employee provided that:

  • she is employed by an employer that is covered by the ESA,
    and
  • she started her employment at least 13 weeks before the date her baby is expected to be born (the "due date").

When a pregnancy leave can begin

Usually, the earliest a pregnancy leave can begin is 17 weeks before the employee's due date. However, when an employee has a live birth more than 17 weeks before the due date, she will be able to begin her pregnancy leave on the date of the birth.

Ordinarily, the latest a pregnancy leave can begin is on the baby's due date. However, if the baby is born earlier than the due date, the latest the leave can begin is the day the baby is born.

Within these restrictions, an employee can start her pregnancy leave any time within the 17 weeks up to and including her due date. The employer cannot decide when the employee will begin her leave even if the employee is off sick or if her pregnancy limits the type of work she can do.

Length of a pregnancy leave

A pregnancy leave can last a maximum of 17 weeks for most employees. However, if an employee has taken a full 17 weeks of leave but is still pregnant, she may continue on the pregnancy leave until the birth of the child. If she has a live birth, the pregnancy leave will end on the date of the birth and then, in most cases, she will be able to commence her parental leave.

An employee may decide to take a shorter leave if she wishes. However, once an employee has started her pregnancy leave, she must take it all at once. She cannot use up part of the 17 weeks, return to work and then go back on pregnancy leave for the unused portion. If she returns to work for the employer from whom she took the leave, even if it is only part-time, under the ESA she gives up the right to take the rest of her leave.

Miscarriages and stillbirths

An employee who has a miscarriage or stillbirth more than 17 weeks before her due date is not entitled to a pregnancy leave.

However, if an employee has a miscarriage or stillbirth within the 17- week period preceding the due date, she is eligible for pregnancy leave. The latest date for commencing the leave, in that case, is the date of the miscarriage or stillbirth.

The pregnancy leave of an employee who has a miscarriage or stillbirth ends on the date that is later of:

  • 17 weeks after the leave began;
    or
  • 12 weeks after the stillbirth or miscarriage.

This means that the pregnancy leave of an employee who has a stillbirth or miscarriage will be at least 17 weeks long. In some cases, it may be longer.

Transitional issues

Note that if an employee who started her pregnancy leave before January 1, 2018, is not entitled to take a parental leave due to a still-birth, death of a child or miscarriage, she will be entitled to remain on pregnancy leave until the later of 17 weeks after the leave began or six weeks after the date of the birth, stillbirth or miscarriage.

Notice requirements for pregnancy leave

Giving notice about starting a pregnancy leave

An employee must give her employer at least two weeks’ written notice before beginning her pregnancy leave. Also, if the employer requests it, she must provide a certificate from a medical practitioner (which may include a medical doctor, a midwife or a nurse practitioner) stating the baby’s due date.

Retroactive notice

Sometimes an employee has to stop working earlier than expected (for example, because of complications caused by the pregnancy). In that case, the employee has two weeks after she stops working to give the employer written notice of the day the pregnancy leave began or will begin.

If an employee stops working earlier than expected because of a birth, stillbirth or miscarriage, she has two weeks after she stops working to give the employer written notice of the day the leave began. The pregnancy leave begins no later than the date of the birth, stillbirth or miscarriage. If the employer requests it, the employee has to provide a medical certificate issued by a medical doctor, a midwife or a nurse practitioner stating the due date and the date of birth, stillbirth or miscarriage

Changing the date a pregnancy leave starts

Suppose an employee has given the notice to begin a pregnancy leave.

She can begin the leave earlier than she originally told her employer if she gives her employer new written notice at least two weeks before the new, earlier date.

Failing to give notice

An employee who fails to give the required notice does not lose her right to a pregnancy leave.

Giving notice about ending a pregnancy leave

An employee can tell her employer when she will be returning to work, but she is not required to do so. If the employee does not specify a return date, the employer is to assume that she will take her full 17 weeks of leave (or any longer period that she may be entitled to).

An employer cannot require an employee to return from her leave early. Also, an employer has no right under the ESA to require an employee to prove, through medical documentation, that she is fit to return to work. The decision to return to work is the employees.

Changing the date a pregnancy leave ends

An employee may want to change the date her leave was scheduled to end to an earlier date. If so, she must give the employer a new written notice at least four weeks before the new, earlier day.

An employee may want to change the date her leave was scheduled to end to a later date. In this case, she must give the employer a new written notice at least four weeks before the date the leave was originally going to end. Unless the employer agrees, she cannot schedule a new end date to her pregnancy leave that would result in her taking a longer leave than she is entitled to under the ESA.

When an employee decides not to return to work

Suppose an employee wants to resign before the end of her pregnancy leave, or at the end of the leave. She must give her employer at least four weeks’ written notice of her resignation. This notice requirement does not apply if the employer constructively dismisses the employee.

Parental leave

Both new parents have the right to take parental leave of up to 61 or 63 weeks of unpaid time off work.

Qualifying for parental leave

A new parent is entitled to parental leave whether they are a full-time, part-time, permanent or term contract employee provided that the employee:

  • is employed by an employer that is covered by the ESA,
    and
  • was employed for at least 13 weeks before commencing the parental leave.

An employee does not have to actively work in the 13- week period preceding the start of the parental leave

  • A "parent" includes:
  • a birth parent;
  • an adoptive parent (whether or not the adoption has been legally finalized); or
  • a person who is in a relationship of some permanence with a parent of the child and who plans on treating the child as their own. This includes same-sex couples.

When a parental leave can begin

A birth mother who takes pregnancy leave must ordinarily begin her parental leave as soon as her pregnancy leave ends. However, an employee's baby may not yet have come into her care for the first time when the pregnancy leave ends.

In this case, the employee can either commence her leave when the pregnancy leave ends or choose to return to work and start her parental leave later. If she chooses to return to work, she will be able to start her parental leave anytime within 78 weeks of the birth or the date the baby first came home from the hospital.

All other parents must begin their parental leave no later than 78 weeks after:

  • the date their baby is born;
    or
  • the date their child first came into their care, custody and control.

The parental leave does not have to be completed within this 78-week period. It just has to be started. Also note that if the child was born, or came into the employee’s care, custody and control before December 3, 2017, an employee who is only entitled to take parental leave must start the leave within 52 weeks.

Length of a parental leave

Birth mothers who take pregnancy leave are entitled to take up to 61 weeks of parental leave. All other new parents are entitled to take up to 63 weeks of parental leave.

In the case where the child was born or came into the custody, care and control of the employee before December 3, 2017, a birth mother who takes pregnancy leave is entitled to take up to 35 weeks of leave, and all other new parents are entitled to take up to 37 weeks of parental leave.

Employees may decide to take a shorter leave if they wish. However, once an employee has started parental leave, they must take it all at one time. The employee cannot use up part of the leave, return to work for the employer and then go back on parental leave for the unused portion.

Miscarriages and stillbirths

An employee who has a miscarriage or stillbirth, or whose spouse or same-sex partner has a miscarriage or stillbirth, is not eligible for parental leave.

Notice requirements for parental leave

Giving notice about starting a parental leave

An employee must give their employer at least two weeks’ written notice before beginning a parental leave. Because EI benefits can be taken over a shorter period or longer period, it is strongly advised that employees tell the employer exactly how many weeks they plan to take as parental leave when they give notice (for example, 37 or 63). If an employee does not tell an employer how much leave they plan to take, the employer is to assume that the employee will be on leave for the full 61 or 63 weeks. In that case, the employee is required to give four weeks’ written notice if they want to return to work before using 61 or 63 weeks of leave. If an employee is also taking a pregnancy leave, she may, but is not required to, give her employer notice of the parental leave when she gives notice of her pregnancy leave.

Retroactive notice

Sometimes, an employee may stop working earlier than expected because a child is born or comes into the employee's custody, care and control for the first time earlier than expected. In this case, the employee has two weeks after stopping work to give the employer written notice that they are taking parental leave. The parental leave begins on the day the employee stops working.

Changing the start of a parental leave to an earlier date

Suppose an employee has given notice to begin a parental leave. The employee can begin the leave earlier than they have told the employer by giving the employer new written notice at least two weeks before the new, earlier date. If the employee intends to use less than 61 or 63 weeks of leave, it is advised that the employee clearly state the number of weeks they plan to take in the new written notice. See “giving notice about starting a parental leave,” above.

An employee can also change the starting date of the leave to a later date than they originally told the employer. To do this, the employee must give the employer new written notice at least two weeks before the original date the leave was going to begin. If the employee intends to use less than 61 or 63 weeks of leave, it is advised that the employee clearly state the number of weeks they plan to take in the new written notice. See “giving notice about starting a parental leave,” above.

Failing to give notice

An employee who fails to give the required notice does not lose their right to a parental leave.

Giving notice about ending a parental leave

An employee can tell the employer when they will be returning to work, but is not required to do so. If the employee does not specify a return date, or did not specify a return date when the original notice that the employee was planning to take the leave was given, the employer is to assume that the employee will take their full 61 or 63 weeks of leave. For example, if an employee did not specify that in the original notice that they planned to take 35 or 37 weeks of leave, the employer will assume that the employee will take the full 61 or 63 weeks of leave. If the employee wants to return to work after 35 or 37 weeks of leave, they must provide four weeks’ of written notice prior to their return to work unless the employer allows the employee to return. An employer cannot require an employee to return from leave early.

Changing the date a parental leave ends

An employee may want to return to work earlier than the date they were scheduled to return. If so, the employee must give the employer written notice at least four weeks before the new, earlier day.

An employee may want to return to work later than they were scheduled to return. In this case, the employee must give the employer new written notice at least four weeks before the date the employee was originally going to return. However, unless the employer agrees, the employee cannot schedule a new return date that would result in the employee taking a longer leave than they are entitled to under the ESA.

When an employee decides not to return to work

Suppose an employee decides to resign before the end of their parental leave, or at the end of the leave. The employee must give the employer at least four weeks’ written notice of the resignation. This notice requirement does not apply if the employer constructively dismisses the employee.

Rights for employees taking pregnancy and parental leaves

Employees on pregnancy or parental leave have several rights.

The right to reinstatement

In most cases, an employee who takes a pregnancy or parental leave is entitled to:

  • the same job the employee had before the leave began;
    or
  • a comparable job, if the employee's old job no longer exists.

In either case, the employee must be paid at least as much as they were earning before the leave. Also, if the wages for the job went up while the employee was on leave, or would have gone up if they hadn't been on leave, the employer must pay the higher wage when the employee returns from leave.

If an employer has dismissed an employee for legitimate reasons that are totally unrelated to the fact that the employee took a leave, the employer does not have to reinstate the employee.

The right to be free from penalty

Employers cannot penalize an employee in any way because the employee:

  • took a pregnancy or parental leave;
  • plans to take a pregnancy or parental leave;
  • is eligible to take a pregnancy or parental leave; or
  • will become eligible to take a pregnancy or parental leave.
  • The right to continue to participate in benefit plans
  • Employees on pregnancy or parental leave have a right to continue to take part in certain benefit plans that their employer may offer. These include:
  • pension plans;
  • life insurance plans;
  • accidental death plans;
  • extended health plans; and
  • dental plans.

The employer must continue to pay its share of the premiums for any of these plans that were offered before the leave, unless the employee tells the employer in writing that they will not continue to pay their own share of the premiums.

In most cases, employees must continue to pay their share of the premiums in order to continue to participate in these plans.

Employees who are on pregnancy or parental leave can also continue to participate in other benefit plans if employees who are on other types of leave are able to continue to participate in those plans.

In addition, a female employee may be entitled to disability benefits during that part of the leave during which she would not have been able to work for health reasons related to her pregnancy or childbirth.

The right to earn credits for the length of employment, length of service and seniority

Employees continue to earn credits toward the length of employment, length of service, and seniority during periods of leave.

Probation

The period of a leave is not included when determining whether an employee has completed a probationary period. If an employee was on probation at the start of a leave, they must complete the probationary period after returning to work.

 

Prince Edward Island

You are eligible to apply for leave of absence from work to care for your newborn or newly adopted child as long as you have worked with the current employer for any 20 weeks in the previous 52 weeks of your leave.  

How much notice do I need to provide to my employer?

You must give your employer at least four weeks written notice of both the date you intend to go on leave and the date on which you intend to return to work. 

How much leave am I eligible to take?

Total combined maternity and parental leave for a mother cannot exceed 52 weeks and must be taken consecutively unless the employer and the employee otherwise agree.

Parental leave for a father cannot exceed 35 weeks.

Maternity Leave: A pregnant employee who has worked any 20 weeks with the employer is eligible for up to 17 weeks unpaid leave of absence which can start as early as eleven weeks prior to the expected date of delivery.

Parental Leave:  An employee who has worked any 20 weeks with the employer is eligible for up to 35 weeks unpaid leave to care for a newborn.

Adoption Leave: An employee who has worked any 20 weeks with the employer is eligible for up to 52 weeks to leave to care for an adopted child. Combined adoption leave for both parents cannot exceed 52 weeks and must be taken within 12 months of a child’s arrival in the home.

Is it possible to extend my leave?

You can extend your leave an additional five consecutive weeks if your child has a physical, psychological or emotional condition that requires additional parental care. This additional leave must begin immediately following the end of the maternity, parental or adoption leave.

Will my leave of absence affect my employment status?

You must be accepted back into the same position or a comparable position with no loss of seniority or benefits.

Leave related to Adoption

Adoption Leave: An employee who has worked any 20 weeks with the employer is eligible for up to 52 weeks leave to care for an adopted child. Combined adoption leave for both parents cannot exceed 52 weeks and must be taken within 12 months of a child’s arrival in the home.

How much notice do I need to provide to my employer?

You must give your employer at least four weeks written notice of both the date you intend to go on leave and the date on which you intend to return to work

Is it possible to extend my leave?

You can extend your leave an additional five consecutive weeks if your child has a physical, psychological or emotional condition that requires additional parental care. This additional leave must begin immediately following the end of the maternity, parental or adoption leave.

Will my leave of absence affect my employment status?

You must be accepted back into the same position or a comparable position with no loss of seniority or benefits.

 

Quebec

Paternity Leave

An employee is entitled to a leave without pay of five consecutive weeks at the birth of his child. The parental leave may be added to the paternity leave.

This paternity leave may begin no earlier than the week of the birth of the child and end no later than 52 weeks later. The employee must notify his employer in writing at least 3 weeks before the start of his leave by indicating the anticipated starting date of the leave and the date of his return to work. This notice period may, however, be shorter if the child arrives before the expected date of birth. 

This leave cannot be interrupted without the authorisation of the employer or in specific cases mentioned in the Law. This leave cannot be transferred to the mother or shared with her.

Under the Québec Parental Insurance Plan, benefits are paid to support the income of an employee who is absent from work because he is a new father.

It is also possible to apply for benefits on the Internet.

This leave may be:

  • suspended following an agreement with the employer, if the employee’s child is hospitalized and a temporary return to work is possible
  • extended if the health of the child requires it. The employee must then provide a medical opinion from the physician before the end of the initial leave.

In certain very specific cases, at the request of the employee, the leave may be divided into weeks if his child is hospitalized or if the employee is absent because he himself or one of his close relatives is sick, as stipulated in sections 79.1 and 79.8 of the Act respecting labour standards.

If the employee continues to make contributions to the various group insurance and pension plans during his leave, the employer must do likewise. If the employer does not, he is liable to legal proceedings as this constitutes a reprisal within the meaning of the Act.

Return to Work

At the end of the paternity leave, the employer must reinstate the employee in his former position and give him the wages and the benefits to which he would have been entitled had he remained at work.

If his position has been abolished, the employee retains the same rights and privileges that he would have enjoyed had he remained at work.

However, these provisions must not give the employee an advantage that he would not have enjoyed had he remained at work.

An employee who does not return to work on the stipulated date is considered to have quit his job.

Annual Leave

An absence for a paternity leave during the reference year does not reduce the length of an employee’s vacation. The employee is entitled to an indemnity that is equal, depending on his length of uninterrupted service, to 2 or 3 times the weekly average of the wages earned during the reference year. It should be noted that the employee does not accumulate vacation pay while on parental leave.

Is an employer obliged to grant a paternity leave to an employee who requests it?

Yes. An employer is required to grant an eligible employee who requests it the paternity leave stipulated in the Act, which can be up to 5 weeks.

Parental Leave

Each parent of a newborn or a newly adopted child is entitled to a parental leave without pay of up to 52 weeks. A person who adopts the child of his spouse is also entitled to this leave.

The parental leave cannot begin before the week of the birth of the newborn or, in the case of an adoption, before the week when the child is entrusted to the employee. Nor can it begin before the week during which the employee leaves work to travel outside Québec to obtain custody of the child.

The parental leave is in addition:

The parental leave may end no later than 70 weeks after the birth or, in case of adoption, 70 weeks after the child was entrusted to the employee.

Under the Québec Parental Insurance Plan, benefits are paid to support the income of an employee who is absent from work to go on leave after the birth or adoption of a child.

It is also possible to apply for benefits on the Internet.

Following an agreement with the employer, the leave may be:

  • suspended, if the employee can return to work temporarily while his child is hospitalized
  • extended if the health of the child requires it. The employee must then provide a medical opinion from the physician before the end of the initial leave.

In certain very specific cases, at the request of the employee, the leave may be divided into weeks if his child is hospitalized or if the employee is absent because he himself or one of his close relatives is sick, as stipulated in sections 79.1 and 79.8 of the Act respecting labour standards.

If the employee continues to make contributions to the various group insurance and pension plans during his leave, the employer must do likewise. If the employer does not, he is liable to legal proceedings as this constitutes a reprisal within the meaning of the Act.

Notice

The parental leave must be preceded by a notice of at least 3 weeks indicating to the employer the dates when the leave begins and ends. This notice period may be shorter if the employee’s presence is required sooner with the newborn or the newly adopted child or with the mother, due to their state of health.

Return to Work

The employee may resume his work on a part-time or intermittent basis during his parental leave if his employer gives his consent.

At the end of the parental leave, the employer must reinstate the employee in his former position and give him the wages and the benefits to which he would have been entitled had he remained at work.

If his position has been abolished, the employee retains the same rights and privileges that he would have enjoyed had he remained at work.

However, these provisions must not give the employee an advantage that he would not have enjoyed had he remained at work.

The employee may return to work before the date mentioned in the notice that he gave his employer before leaving. He must then send the employer, 3 weeks ahead of time, a new notice indicating the date of his return.

An employee who does not return to work on the stipulated date is considered to have quit his job.

Vacation

Unlike the maternity leave and the paternity leave, the parental leave has an impact on the calculation of the vacation.

 

Are senior managerial personnel and employees subject to the construction decree entitled to the parental leave?

Yes. They are entitled to it, even though the major portion of the other provisions of the Act do not apply to them.

Maternity Leave

In Québec, pregnant employees are entitled to a maternity leave without pay of a maximum duration of 18 continuous weeks. The parental leave may be added to the maternity leave.

The employee may spread the maternity leave before or after the date of delivery as she wishes. The employer may agree to a longer maternity leave if the employee requests it.

The maternity leave may not begin before the 16th week preceding the expected date of delivery and shall end not later than 18 weeks afterwards. If the leave begins at the time of delivery, the week of delivery is not included in the calculation.

From the 6th week before delivery, the employer may require, in writing, a medical certificate stating that the employee is fit to work. If the employee does not provide the certificate within 8 days, the employer may, once again by written notice, oblige the employee to take her maternity leave.

Under the Québec Parental Insurance Plan, benefits are paid to support the income of a female employee who is absent from work after the birth or adoption of a child.

It is also possible to apply for benefits on the Internet.

Following an agreement with the employer, the leave may be:

  • suspended, if the employee’s child is hospitalized and a temporary return to work is possible
  • extended, if the health of the child or the mother requires it.
    The employee must then provide a medical opinion from the physician before the end of the initial leave.

In certain very specific cases, at the request of the employee, the leave may be divided into weeks if her child is hospitalized or if the employee is absent because she herself or one of her close relatives is sick, as stipulated in sections 79.1 and 79.8 of the Act respecting labour standards.

If the delivery occurs after the expected date, the employee is entitled to at least two weeks of maternity leave afterwards.

If the employee continues to make contributions to the various group insurance and pension plans during her leave, the employer must do likewise. If the employer does not, he is liable to legal proceedings as this constitutes a reprisal within the meaning of the Act.

Absences during Pregnancy

An employee may be absent, without pay, as often as is necessary, for examinations related to her pregnancy. She must notify her employer of such absences as soon as possible.

Special Maternity Leave

An employee is entitled to a special maternity leave, without pay, when there is a risk of termination of her pregnancy or a danger for the health of the mother or unborn child caused by the pregnancy. The employee must provide a medical certificate attesting to the danger and indicating the length of the leave and the expected date of delivery. In such a case, the regular maternity leave begins 4 weeks before the expected date of delivery.

Termination of Pregnancy

When a termination of pregnancy occurs before the start of the 20th week preceding the expected date of delivery, the leave is for a maximum duration of 3 weeks, except where a medical certificate attests to the need to extend the leave.

As for a termination of pregnancy occurring from the 20th week on, the female employee is entitled to a maternity leave without pay of not more than 18 continuous weeks from the week of the event. The employee shall notify her employer as soon as possible and provide him with a written notice indicating the expected date of return to work. This notice must be accompanied by a medical certificate.

Written Notices from the Employee to her Employer

The employee must give her employer, 3 weeks before leaving, a written notice mentioning the date when she is going on maternity leave and that of her return to work. The time period may be shorter if her state of health obliges her to leave sooner. She must then provide a medical certificate attesting to the reasons that oblige her to leave work.

The notice must always be accompanied by a medical certificate attesting to the pregnancy and the expected date of delivery. A written report signed by a mid-wife can replace the medical certificate.

In case of termination of pregnancy or premature delivery, the employee must, as soon as possible, give her employer a written notice informing him of the event that has occurred and of the expected date of her return to work, along with a medical certificate attesting to the event.

Return to Work

At the end of the maternity leave, the employer must reinstate the employee in her former position and give her the wages and the benefits to which she would have been entitled had she remained at work.

If her position has been abolished, the employee retains the same rights and privileges that she would have enjoyed had she remained at work.

However, these provisions must not give the employee an advantage that she would not have enjoyed had she remained at work.

The employee may return to work before the date mentioned in the notice that she gave her employer before leaving. She must send the employer, 3 weeks ahead of time, a new notice indicating the date of her return.

An employee who does not return to work on the stipulated date is considered to have quit her job.

If the employee wishes to return to work less than 2 weeks after the delivery, the employer may require a medical certificate attesting that she is fit to work.

Can the employee return to work sooner than planned after a maternity leave?

Yes. She can return sooner, after having given written notice of at least 3 weeks before the new date of her return to work.

Vacation

An absence for a maternity leave during the reference year does not reduce the length of an employee’s vacation. The employee is entitled to an indemnity that is equal, depending on her length of uninterrupted service, to 2 or 3 times the weekly average of the wages earned during the reference year. It should be noted that the employee does not accumulate vacation pay while on parental leave.

Protective Re-assignment

The provisions concerning protective re-assignment are found in the Act respecting occupational health and safety. For more information, contact the office of the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) of your region.

Leave related to Adoption

The Act respecting labor standards contains provisions concerning births or adoptions that protect the majority of Québec workers, whether they are full or part time.

Both parents may be absent from work for 5 days:

  • at the time of the birth or adoption of a child

If the mother is already on maternity leave, she cannot profit from this leave.

The first two days are with pay if the employee is credited with 60 days of service.

Starting January 1st 2019, those two days will be with pay no matter the duration of the employee’s service.

The employee must take the leave in the 15 days following the child’s arrival at home. This leave may be divided into days if the employee requests it. These days may in turn be divided if the employer gives his consent.

In all cases, the employee must notify his employer of his absence as soon as possible.

Is an employee who adopts the child of his spouse entitled to the 5 days of leave?

Yes. He has been entitled to these 5 days without pay since January 1, 2006, the first 2 days of which may be remunerated in the case of an employee credited with 60 days of uninterrupted service. However, starting January 1st 2019, those two days will be with pay no matter the duration of the employee’s service.

Is the length of the leave doubled if the employee gives birth to twins?

No. The length of the leave is the same as if the employee had only one child. 

Are senior managerial personnel and employees subject to the construction decree entitled to the leave for birth, adoption or interruption of pregnancy?

Yes. They are entitled to it, even though the major portion of the other provisions of the Act do not apply to them.

 

Saskatchewan

The birth parent with at least 13 weeks of employment with an employer is eligible for 18 weeks of maternity leave. A birth parent must give four weeks' written notice to the employer before the leave is estimated to begin and end. The leave can start any time in the 12 weeks prior to the estimated date of birth or any time in the eight weeks prior to the estimated birth date if the employee has failed to give the employer the required notice and medical certificate.   

The leave duration can consist of:

  • 18 unpaid weeks;
  • An additional 6 weeks if the employee is unable for medical reasons to return to work after the expiration of the maternity leave;
  • Not less than six weeks, if the actual date of birth is later than the estimated date; or
  • 14 weeks, if the employee has failed to give the employer the required notice and medical certificate.

Employers cannot take discriminatory action against an employee if she is:

  • pregnant or temporarily disabled because of pregnancy;
  • applies for, or takes, an employment leave or is otherwise absent from the workplace; or
  • requests a modification of the employee’s duties or a reassignment to other duties because of the pregnancy.

An employee must provide the employer at least four weeks notice before she intends to return to work. Upon returning, an employee is entitled to return to the same job if the employment leave is for 60 days or less. If the leave is longer than 60 days, the employee can be reinstated to a comparable job. The employee must receive at least the same wage and benefits as before the leave. 

In addition to maternity leave and adoption leave, parental leave can be taken following maternity or adoption leave, or separately.

The birth parent or primary caregiver is eligible for 34 weeks of parental leave. Parents who did not take maternity leave or adoption leave are eligible for up to 37 weeks. The parent or primary caregiver must have at least 13 weeks of employment with their employer.

When a parent taking maternity or adoption leave also takes parental leave, the parental leave must be taken consecutively with the maternity or adoption leave.  For the parent that does not take maternity leave or adoption leave, the parental leave can be taken in the period: up to 12 weeks before the estimated date of birth but before 52 weeks after the actual date of birth.

If the parental leave is taken after maternity or adoption leave, four weeks’ written notice must be provided before the end of the maternity or adoption leave.  If taken separately, four weeks’ notice must be given before the leave is to begin. An employer can request a birth adoption certificate along with the notice.

Upon returning, an employee is entitled to return to the same job if the employment leave is for 60 days or less. If the leave is longer than 60 days, the employee can be reinstated to a comparable job. The employee must receive at least the same wage and benefits as before the leave. 

Employers cannot take discriminatory action against an employee if the employee has applied for or taken an employment leave or is otherwise absent from the workplace.

Leave related to adoption

The parent that is designated primary caregiver, who has at least 13 weeks of employment with an employer, is eligible to 18 weeks of adoption leave. The primary caregiver must give four weeks’ written notice to the employer before the leave is estimated to begin and end.

The adoption leave begins on the day that the child comes into the employee’s care or becomes available for adoption.  

The leave duration is 18 unpaid weeks.

Employers cannot take discriminatory action against an employee if the employee has applied for or taken an employment leave or is otherwise absent from the workplace.

Employees must provide the employer at least four weeks' notice before they intend to return to work. Upon returning, an employee is entitled to return to the same job if the employment leave is for 60 days or less. If the leave is longer than 60 days, the employee can be reinstated to a comparable job. The employee must receive at least the same wage and benefits as before the leave.

 

Yukon

Maternity leave

An employee who has been continuously employed by her employer for at least 12 months is entitled to maternity leave. The employee must submit to her employer a written request for maternity leave and a doctor's certificate stating she is pregnant and her probable due date. That request must be made no later than 4 weeks prior to the day the employee intends to start leave.

The employee is entitled to a maximum of 17 weeks of unpaid leave. The employee may apply for fewer weeks, may return to work before the leave expires, or both if the employer agrees. There is no provision for extending maternity leave beyond 17 weeks.

The employer may require the employee to take maternity leave any time within the 6 weeks prior to her estimated due date. The employer may require the employee to start her leave sooner than 6 weeks prior to her estimated due date only with the consent of the Director of Employment Standards and only if the employee cannot reasonably be expected to perform her duties because of her pregnancy.

The employee may return to work at any time with the employer's consent or by providing the employer with 4 weeks written notice of the day she/he intends to return to work.

An employee is entitled to a maximum of 17 weeks of unpaid leave for reasons related to the birth of a child, the termination of a pregnancy or health problems associated with the pregnancy, providing she requests the leave and supplies a doctor's certificate. The employee may request a shorter leave period, but cannot be required to return earlier than 6 weeks after the birth or termination of the pregnancy occurred.

A birth mother, birth father or a person who adopts a child under the laws of the Yukon or of a province and who has been continuously employed for 12 months is entitled to a maximum of 37 weeks of unpaid parental leave. The employee must submit a written request for the leave at least 4 weeks in advance.

If the child suddenly comes into the custody of the employee before he/she is able to give the employer the necessary 4 weeks of notice, the requirement is waived and the leave will be granted.

Provided that the maternity and parental leave is continuous or the employee and employer agree otherwise, an employee is entitled to take both maternity and parental leave.

An employee must complete the parental leave no later than the first-anniversary date of the birth or adoption of the child or of the date the child came into the employee’s care and custody.

Parental Leave

Parental leave can be taken wholly by one spouse or be shared by both but the cumulative total of the leave cannot exceed a continuous period of 37 weeks and cannot be taken at the same time unless one parent is unable to care for the child due to illness, injury, death or other hardship for the family.

An employer is prohibited from terminating the employee unless the employee has been absent longer than permitted by the maternity leave provisions. An employer cannot change the conditions of employment because of the pregnancy or authorized leave unless the employee consents, in writing, to the change.

The employee’s service is considered continuous during maternity and parental leave and upon return, she/he must be reinstated in the position occupied by her/him on the date her/his leave started, or in a comparable position. An employee is entitled to receive the wages and benefits she/he was entitled to prior to the leave plus all increments they would have received had leave not been taken, unless they have agreed to the change in writing. An employer who has suspended or discontinued operation during the employee’s maternity or parental leave and who has not resumed operation before the leave expired must, on the resumption of operations, fully reinstate the employee.

 

Northwest Territories

What conditions must an employee meet before she can take pregnancy leave? 

An employee must have worked for an employer for 12 consecutive months before she is entitled to pregnancy leave. If the employer requests a medical certificate, she is required to provide it.  The employee must give the employer at least 4 weeks written notice prior to her leave. If an employee does not qualify for pregnancy leave, she is still entitled to sufficient time off work to meet her physical needs connected with the birth.   

Section 26 of the Employment Standards Act and section 11 of the Employment Standards Regulations.

What conditions must an employee meet before they can take parental leave?

An employee must have worked for an employer for 12 consecutive months before he or she is entitled to parental leave. They must give the employer at least 4 weeks written notice prior to the leave. Parental leave must be taken within the first year of the baby’s life or within a year of the adopted child arriving at the employee’s home. 

Where an employee takes parental leave in addition to pregnancy leave, the employee must start their parental leave immediately following the pregnancy leave, unless the employer and employee agree otherwise. 

Section 28 of the Employment Standards Act and section 12 of the Employment Standards Regulations

How much time off is an employee entitled to receive when they have a baby?

If the employee meets all conditions, they would be entitled to unpaid pregnancy leave of 17 weeks and unpaid parental leave of 37 weeks for a maximum combined total not exceeding 52 weeks.

Sections 26-28 & 34 of the Employment Standards Act. and sections 11 & 12 of the Employment Standards Regulations.

Does an employee get paid while they are on pregnancy and/or parental leave?

No.

Should an employee be able to return to the same job?

Upon completion of the pregnancy and/or parental leave, the employer must reinstate the employee. The employee is entitled to receive the same, or a comparable position at the same wage, benefits and seniority including any increases the employee would have received if the leave had not been taken.

Section 34 of the Employment Standards Act.

 

Nunavut

The following identifies the job protection rights of employees who meet the conditions for pregnancy and parental leave:

Leave Entitlements 

pregnancy – employees are entitled to seventeen consecutive weeks of unpaid leave, commencing at any time during the seventeen week period immediately preceding the estimated date of delivery. if the actual date of delivery is after the estimated date of delivery, an employer is entitled at the request of the employee, to extend the pregnancy leave for a further period not exceeding six weeks. it is also noted that eligible employees are entitled to the full period of leave if they do not give the required notice because of medical reasons related to the pregnancy.

parental leave – an employee is entitled to thirty-seven consecutive weeks of unpaid leave. the leave, whether natural or adoptive, must be taken within the period commencing on the day of birth of the newborn child or the day on which the child arrives at the employee’s home, as the case may be, and ending one year after that date. both parents are eligible for parental leave.

eligibility requirements – an employee must be employed by an employer for twelve consecutive months. the employee must request in writing at least four weeks before the intended commencement of the leave and, in the case of pregnancy leave, provide a medical certificate if so requested by the employer.

special provisions

Where an employee has taken parental leave in addition to pregnancy leave, the employee must commence the parental leave immediately on the expiration of the pregnancy leave, or on the day the child arrives at the employee’s home, unless the employee and the employer agree otherwise.

An employee is entitled to a maximum of fifty-two weeks of combined pregnancy and parental leave.

Prohibited action by the employer

No employer shall dismiss, suspend, lay off, demote or discipline an employee because an employee has applied for leave under the pregnancy / parental / compassionate care provisions of the labour standards act.