My wife is expecting a baby soon and will be taking the full maternity/parental leave. She earns around $25,000/year. We would like her to take the full 18 months off with the baby if possible, and her employer is fine with that. She does not have a top-up through work.
It it more advantageous for her to take the 12 month option @ 55% of her salary (with 6 months unpaid), or 18 months @ 33% spread over that whole period?
I called EI to ask about if she took some time in between 12-18 months. i.e. if she took 16 months off, how would that be paid out? They responded that it's an either/or - you can only do either 12 or 18. It's not like it's a different percentage in between that. The rep said that something like 16 months would be paid at 33% which seems odd. Anyone else dealing with that situation?
So is it as simple as 55% x $25,000 = $13,750 for the 12 month option and 33% x ($25,000 x 1.5) = $12,375 for the 18 month option? (I recognize that this is a rough calculation and that it will be actually best on her "best weeks" over the past year)
Are we better off doing 12 months @ 55% with 6 months unpaid, and saving more of that upfront to get us through the unpaid months?