Parental benefits are payable either to the biological or adoptive parents while they are caring for a new-born or an adopted child, up to a maximum of 35 weeks. To receive parental benefits a person is required to have worked for 600 hours in the last 52 weeks or since his/her last claim. They must sign a statement declaring the newborn’s date of birth, or, when there is an adoption, the child’s date of placement for the purpose of the adoption, and the name and address of the adoption authority.
An employee who gives birth is, under certain conditions, entitled to 17 weeks’ unpaid leave (15 weeks in Alberta, 18 weeks in Quebec and Saskatchewan). Employees must give their employer notice in writing a few weeks prior to the start of such leave. In some jurisdictions, the leave can also start up to 16 or 17 weeks prior to the expected due date, terminating 17 or 18 weeks after the actual date of delivery, depending on the jurisdiction. Extensions are also possible in some jurisdictions. When she comes back to work, the employee usually returns to her former position or be assigned equivalent duties, with the same salary and benefit
During maternity leave, eligible employees may receive Employment Insurance maternity benefits for 15 weeks, after serving a 2-week waiting period. Some employers provide a supplemental unemployment benefit plan that partially or wholly makes up the difference between Employment Insurance maternity benefits and the worker’s salary.
In all Canadian jurisdictions, employees who meet eligibility requirements are entitled to unpaid parental leave ranging from 12 to 52 weeks. In ten jurisdictions, the full parental leave is available to both parents if they are eligible. However, in Alberta, New Brunswick, the Yukon and the federal jurisdiction, parental leave may be shared between both parents as long as the total period of leave does not exceed the legislated maximum.
Some jurisdictions allow employees to continue their participation to benefit plans during the leave, provided they make all contributions they would normally have made, within a reasonable period of time. In some jurisdictions the employee may be required to pay the employer’s share of these benefits.
If her baby is hospitalized, then the 17 week limit can be extended for every week the child is in the hospital up to 52 weeks — following the week of the child’s birth.