- How long is pregnancy and parental leave?
- Will I receive Employment Insurance (EI) benefits?
- What documents do I need to apply for benefits?
- Will I get an income top-up to EI payments?
- How Much Notice Should I Give My Program?
- Your Rights: Working While Expecting
- Do My Benefits Continue on Pregnancy and/or Parental Leave?
- What Happens to my Vacation and Professional Leave Days?
- What if I require specific accommodations, such as a lactation room, upon my return to work?
- Do I Have to Make up The Time I Missed While on Leave?
- Important Contact Information
Congratulations on welcoming a new addition to your family! PARO is committed to helping you understand the leave and benefits you are entitled to during this exciting time. We have created a guide that contains the information that you need to know which you can download.Pregnancy & Parental Leave Guide
Pregnancy and Parental benefit information can be found under Article 11.5, 14.1, and 15 of the PARO-CAHO Agreement. As well, information about your Employment Insurance benefit entitlements can be found on the Service Canada website.
How long is pregnancy and parental leave?
All residents are legally entitled to pregnancy and/or parental leave.
Pregnancy leave, which applies only to a birth or surrogate mother, is 17 weeks.
Parental leave applies to all new parents. There are two options available for parental leave, standard or extended.
Standard parental leave can be taken for a maximum of 35 weeks for a birth mother who also takes pregnancy leave and 37 weeks for all new parents who do not take pregnancy leave (e.g. non-birth mothers, fathers and adoptive parents).
Extended parental leave can be taken for a maximum of 61 weeks for those that also take pregnancy leave, or 63 weeks for those that do not take pregnancy leave.
Will I receive Employment Insurance (EI) benefits?
Eligible employees on pregnancy and/or parental leave are entitled to government provided benefits (Employment Insurance) payable during the time the employee is on leave.
- To qualify for Employment Insurance, an employee is required to have accumulated 600 insurable hours in the last fifty-two (52) weeks since their last claim.
- Attachment 11 “Employment Insurance Hours of Work,” of the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement provides that you are entitled to be credited with your actual hours worked, rather than any hours recorded for payroll or other administrative purposes.**
- Each family must wait a one week unpaid waiting period before receiving EI benefits. For example, a birth mother who takes pregnancy leave will be required to wait one week until they will be in receipt of funds. They will then receive a total of 15 weeks of EI payments for pregnancy leave.
- Standard parental benefits can be paid for a maximum of 35 weeks. The weekly benefit is 55% of the resident’s average weekly insurable earnings to a maximum amount.
- When the second parent (non birth parent) takes a minimum of five weeks of parental leave, the parental benefit increases by up to five weeks for a total of 40 weeks.
- Extended parental benefits can be paid for a maximum of 61 weeks. The benefit rate is 33% of the resident’s average weekly insurable earnings to a maximum amount. When the second parent (non birth parent) takes a minimum of five weeks of parental leave, the parental benefit increases by up to eight weeks for a total of 69 weeks.
Note: Parental leave benefits are shared per family. The two parents will decide how the benefit is used.
Some standard leave examples: one parent takes 25 weeks of the benefit and the other takes 10 weeks, or one parent takes the entire 35 weeks of benefits.
Some extended leave examples: one parent takes 41 weeks of the benefit and the other takes 20 weeks, or one parent takes the entire 61 weeks of benefits.
Note: The leave time (provincial entitlement) is a separate entitlement from the EI benefit payments (federal entitlement). Even if you do not qualify for EI benefits, you are entitled to the leave time under the Employment Standards Act.
**Effective September 27, 2020, there are some temporary changes to the Government-issued Employment Insurance (EI) benefit. The following changes will be in effect for 1 year:
- You only need 120 insured hours to qualify for benefits because you’ll get a one-time credit of 480 insured hours to help you meet the required 600 insured hours of work.
- For pregnancy and standard parental benefits, you’ll receive at least $500 per week before taxes, but it is possible that you could receive more. In 2020, the maximum amount is $573 a week. For extended parental benefits, you’ll receive at least $300 per week before taxes but you could receive more. In 2020, the maximum amount is $344 a week.
- These changes have been introduced to provide assistance and relief during the COVID-19 pandemic and will be in effect from September 27th, 2020 to October 26th, 2021. We will be sure to provide further updates on any changes the Federal Government may make to EI, as we receive them.
What documents do I need to apply for benefits?
Applications for benefits can be made online at Benefit Online Application or in person at any Service Canada Centre.
You will need the following documents when applying:
- Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Record of Employment (ROE) which is provided by your payroll centre
- Personal Identification such as a drivers licence, birth certificate, passport
- Your complete bank information
- The expected or actual date of birth of your child, if you are claiming pregnancy benefits
- Your newborn’s date of birth, or, when there is an adoption, your child’s date of placement, if you are claiming parental benefits. In the case of an adoption, you also need to provide the name and full address of the agency handling the adoption
For a complete list of all required documents, please visit Service Canada’s website.
Will I get an income top-up to EI payments?
The PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement provides a supplemental income top-up to residents who are on either pregnancy or parental leave and are in receipt of EI (Article 15.7 of the PARO-CAHO Collective Agreement).
- This benefit is provided for a maximum of 27 weeks for mothers who are taking pregnancy and parental leave (15 weeks pregnancy leave top-up + 12 weeks parental leave top-up). For residents on stand alone parental leave (those who did not take pregnancy leave) the top-up will be provided for a maximum of 12 weeks.
- The benefit will be equivalent to the difference between 84% of the resident’s regular weekly earnings and the sum of the resident’s weekly EI benefits and any other earnings.
The chart below summarizes the total length of leave and the length of benefit payments – both EI and the Top-up:
|Pregnancy Leave||Parental Leave|
|Length of Leave||17 weeks||Standard parental leave: 35 weeks EI benefits per family; 37 weeks if you did not take pregnancy leave; Extended parental leave: 61 weeks; 63 weeks if you did not take pregnancy leave|
|Length of Benefit Payments (EI and top-up)*||15 weeks EI benefits — If you are in receipt of EI, PARO members qualify for top-up for the same 15-week period.||Standard parental leave: 35 weeks EI benefits per family. The benefit rate is up to a maximum of 55% of the resident’s regular weekly earnings, to a maximum amount.* When the second parent (non birth parent) takes a minimum of five weeks of parental leave, the parental benefit increases by up to five weeks for a total of 40 weeks. Extended parental leave: 61 weeks EI benefits per family. The benefit rate is 33% of the resident’s average weekly insurable earnings up to a maximum amount.* When the second parent (non birth parent) takes a minimum of five weeks of parental leave, the parental benefit increases by up to eight weeks for a total of 69 weeks.|
|When can the benefit begin?||The earliest a pregnancy leave can begin is 17 weeks before the due date. The latest a pregnancy leave can begin is the day the baby is born. — The earliest the benefit payments can begin is 12 weeks before the expected delivery and can end as late as 17 weeks after the date of birth.||Payable no later than 78 weeks after the child's birth. — For adoptive parents, fathers, or non-birth mothers, payable no later than 52 weeks after the child is in your immediate care, custody or control for the first time|
|Who is eligible for the benefit?||Birth mother or surrogate mother||New parents (note that the Employment Standards Act defines “parent” as birth parent, adopting parent, or person in a relationship with a parent of a child and plans to treat the child as their own)|
Each family must wait a one-week unpaid waiting period before receiving EI benefits. For example, a mother that takes pregnancy leave will be required to wait one week until she will be in receipt of funds. She will receive a total of 15 weeks of EI payments for her pregnancy leave. When EI benefits for parental leave are shared between parents, a single one-week waiting period may apply.
How Much Notice Should I Give My Program?
Under Articles 15.1 and 15.2 of the PARO-CAHO Agreement residents must give four (4) weeks written notice of their intended timing of their pregnancy and/or parental leave, in order to ensure that professional and patient care responsibilities are met. We advise residents however, that the earlier your program is informed of your leave, the better it will be for all parties involved.
Your Rights: Working While Expecting
Attachment 3 of the PARO-CAHO Agreement states that “in no event will a resident be scheduled or required to participate in on call duty after twenty-seven (27) weeks gestation unless otherwise agreed to by the resident”. As well, residents have the right to have their workload modified somewhat because of the physical limitations caused by pregnancy to enable continued training with minimal interruption.
If you are experiencing particular difficulties with your pregnancy, your program may also be required to provide you with further reasonable accommodation.
Do My Benefits Continue on Pregnancy and/or Parental Leave?
Per Article 14.1 of the PARO-CAHO Agreement, all benefits continue to apply while on leave
What Happens to my Vacation and Professional Leave Days?
- As set out in Article 11.5 of the PARO-CAHO Agreement, while on pregnancy/parental leave, you are entitled to vacation as follows:
- Residents who take pregnancy and parental leave (e.g. biological mothers) accumulate vacation for the entire length of their leave, up to 52 weeks
- Residents who take parental leave (e.g. adoptive parents, fathers) are entitled to take up to 37 weeks of parental leave, and accumulate vacation for up to 37 weeks. If a parent takes more than 37 weeks, vacation will be pro-rated for the additional period of the leave.
- Normally, unused vacation may not be carried over into the following appointment year. However, if you are on pregnancy or parental leave at the end of one appointment year and the start of another, any unused vacation prior to going on leave, and accumulated vacation while on leave, can be carried over to the new appointment year and taken immediately following the end of your leave, i.e. before your return to work. It may also be taken at a later time mutually agreed upon between you and your program and/or preceptor.
- If you are required to undertake additional services at the end of your program to make up for time missed while on pregnancy or parental leave, your vacation entitlement will be pro-rated or the length of the additional service.
- You do not accumulate professional leave days while on leave and unused professional leave days expire at the end of each appointment year. However, you will be entitled to seven (7) days of professional leave in the next appointment year, as per Article 12.1 of the PARO-CAHO agreement.
What if I require specific accommodations, such as a lactation room, upon my return to work?
Upon your return to work from leave, you may be entitled to accommodations to assist you and your family. For example, the hospital must make accommodations so that you may chest feed or express milk for your child. This might include ensuring that you are provided with a private and protected space, as well as a secure fridge to store milk safely.
You may be eligible to receive other accommodations as a family caregiver.
If you think you might require an accommodation, please connect with the PARO office directly, where we can provide you with specific guidance based on your individual needs.
Do I Have to Make up The Time I Missed While on Leave?
Depending on the length of the leave, residents will generally need to make up time missed in order to complete the educational and training requirements outlined by individual programs.
Both the RCPSC and CFPC permit individual universities to grant Waivers of Training (up to a maximum length) to ‘exceptional’ residents. If granted, waivers are applied in the final year of training. The decision to grant a waiver of training is at the discretion of the specific program director and/or university.
Important Contact Information
They will stop automatic payments while you are on maternity leave. It is as simple as calling them and telling them the dates you will be on leave. They will send a letter to confirm these dates. If there are any changes, just call to inform them. Automatic payments will restart once you return to work.
No refunds are given on dues for residents while on pregnancy/parental leave as you continue to be a member with benefits.
Your department must send a letter to CPSO informing them of the leave dates. You must still pay the full fee while you are off on leave as there are no pro-rated fees. You will remain registered with the CPSO while you are on leave.
Service Canada: 1-800-206-7218 www.servicecanada.gc.ca
A Service Canada representative can help answer any questions you have relating to applying, receiving, and documenting your Employment Insurance benefits.
Payroll & Benefit Contact Information
|McMaster||905-521-2100 x 46947|
|Ottawa||613-562-5800 x 1656|
|Queen's||613-549-6666 x 2365|
|Western||519-685-8500 x 46247|
PARO: 1-877-979-1183 or email email@example.com
Please feel free to contact the PARO office with any questions you have relating to pregnancy and parental leave. One of our very knowledgeable staff members will be pleased to assist you.