Skip to main content

Consultation on maternity and parental benefits and leave

Printer-friendly version
Government of Canada
Publication Date: 
1 Oct 2016



Each year, hundreds of thousands of Canadian families welcome new children into their lives – and they must balance their work and care responsibilities during this important time.

To provide more flexible Employment Insurance (EI) maternity and parental benefits, as well as unpaid job-protected leaves under the Canada Labour Code for workers in federally regulated enterprises, the Government of Canada is considering new options for eligible Canadians who are off work to care for a newborn or a newly adopted child, in addition to the current option of a combined 12 months of maternity and parental benefits and unpaid leave:

Allowing combined maternity and parental benefits and unpaid leaves to be extended to up to 18 months at a lower EI benefit rate (more time off work, with less money per month)

Allowing the current amount of parental benefits and unpaid leave to be taken in smaller blocks of time over a period of up to 18 months rather than over 12 months.

Each option would result in the same total amount of EI benefits paid, and each option involves considerations for both employees and their families and their employers. In each of the options, the duration of the EI maternity benefit and leave would not be changed.

As we explore ways to do this, we would like your input so that we can learn what is most important to you. Join the conversation – tell us your stories and what you think.

We invite you to read the discussion paper before submitting your views.

There are open discussion groups online that consider the following topics: potential changes, views and experiences with Canada’s EI maternity/parental benefits and/or leave under the Canada Labour Code, employers’ views and responding to workplace health and safety risks for pregnant workers. 

Further readings:

11th international review of leave policies and related research 2015
International Network on Leave Policies & Research, 1 Apr 2015

Maternity and paternity at work: Law and practice across the world
International Labour Organization, 1 Jan 2014

Entered Date: 
12 Oct 2016
Premium Drupal Themes by Adaptivethemes