Parenting & Family

Need Parental Leave info

[OP]
Sr. Member
Oct 12, 2007
936 posts
551 upvotes
Vancouver

Need Parental Leave info

Alright, after being really confused by all of the gobbly gook from the government website, and other websites kind of help, but they are very specific and not in one place. If anyone has everything all in mind, it would be appreciated.

I live in BC, so I just want to know how many weeks do we have? I know the mom and dad have separate weeks, and then there's a shared week pool.

Also, it would be good to know if we need to do anything beforehand to get the parental leave benefits.
14 replies
Sr. Member
Nov 9, 2013
745 posts
263 upvotes
Vancouver
It depends whether you are doing regular or extended leave. Regular parental leave you get 40wks between you and only one can take up to a max of 35wks, leaving the other with 5wks for example. I can’t remember how many weeks if you take extended someone else can probably answer that.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Oct 12, 2007
936 posts
551 upvotes
Vancouver
Trophy23 wrote: It depends whether you are doing regular or extended leave. Regular parental leave you get 40wks between you and only one can take up to a max of 35wks, leaving the other with 5wks for example. I can’t remember how many weeks if you take extended someone else can probably answer that.
I thought the mother has her own maternity leave that she'll have, like 17 weeks that is separate from the 40 weeks.

And does the extended leave have some requirements? I know regular leave requirements are a joke, but extended has more required hours worked or certain amount of income.
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
2556 posts
2505 upvotes
Ottawa
Standard Parental EI is 35 weeks. If you share between partners, there's an extra 5 weeks for a shared total of 40 weeks, with no one parent taking more than 35.

Extended Parental EI is 61 weeks. If you share between partners, there's an extra 8 weeks for total of 69 weeks shared, with no one parent taking more than 61.

The mother can receive 15 weeks of maternity EI in addition to Standard or Extended Parental.

Extended Parental EI pays about the same as Standard. They basically just take what you'd receive over 35 weeks and spread it over 61 weeks.

The eligibility for both is the same. 600 qualifying hours in the last 52 weeks, or since the last time you stopped taking EI if that was less than 52 weeks ago.

EI isn't job protection. Job protected parental leave is covered under labour laws (provincial or federal, depending on industry). You don't need to be on EI to receive unpaid, job protected parental leave.

Assuming you're covered by BC's labour laws, you are both eligible for 62 weeks of parental leave (unpaid time off work), during which your job is protected. The mother is also eligible for an extra 17 weeks of job protected maternity leave.

Again, and I say this a lot on RFD, you do not need to receive EI to be eligible for job protected maternity and parental leave. You can both take 62 weeks off work (plus 17 weeks for the mother), but will collectively receive a maximum of 55 weeks of Maternity + Standard Parental EI, or 86 weeks of Maternity + Extended Parental EI.
Sr. Member
Nov 9, 2013
745 posts
263 upvotes
Vancouver
Whoaness wrote: I thought the mother has her own maternity leave that she'll have, like 17 weeks that is separate from the 40 weeks.

And does the extended leave have some requirements? I know regular leave requirements are a joke, but extended has more required hours worked or certain amount of income.
Correct mother can take 15wks mat leave on top of parental leave. No additional requirement for extended leave as far as I know.
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
2556 posts
2505 upvotes
Ottawa
To expand on my post, even though I'm sure your head is already swimming.

- You cannot apply for Maternity or Parental EI until you stop working.
- Your wife can start taking Maternity EI up to 12 weeks before her due date, and can receive Maternity EI for up to 17 weeks after the date of birth. It's pretty typical in low risk pregnancies to start taking maternity EI a few weeks before the due date, but someone women start taking it earlier and some wait until they go into labour.
- You can apply for Parental EI the week of the child's date of birth.
- When your wife applies for Maternity EI, the form will have questions about her plans for Parental afterwards. She doesn't need to reapply for Parental; it'll automatically switch over.
- Your wife will receive her first payment ~4 weeks after she applies for Maternity EI. It will be back dated to 1 week after she applied. That 1 week is the "waiting period".
- When you apply for Parental after baby is born, it will take ~4 weeks until you receive your first payment. Assuming your wife served the 1 week waiting period mentioned above, it will be back dated to the week you applied.
- Always try, if possible, to begin your EI on a Monday. For the mother, this means starting Maternity on a Monday a week or two before the due date; for the other parent, it means back filling with a few vacation or family days to line up the start of Parental with the next Monday after the date of birth. EI payments always begin on a Monday, so it tends to be more efficient to start on a Monday. This is especially important if you receive an employer top-up.

If you have other specific questions, I might be able to answer. I'm not trained in the subject, but I've been through it a couple of times. My wife is also an HR advisor, and has worked in 3 Canadian jurisdictions, so she's fairly up to speed on the labour law side of Parental and Maternity leave.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Oct 12, 2007
936 posts
551 upvotes
Vancouver
Thanks, I think that's all the information I need. You made it very clear for me.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 13, 2010
7607 posts
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Scarborough
The claims processing (during pandemic) has been widespread......our claim in Ontario was processed by someone in Nova Scotia so be prepared to pick any calls from other provinces.
You never know who is going to call, if they require more info, but yes if u miss the call they will leave a callback number/name etc so no worries
Jr. Member
Sep 27, 2010
169 posts
43 upvotes
Toronto
Dynatos wrote: - You cannot apply for Maternity or Parental EI until you stop working.
- Your wife can start taking Maternity EI up to 12 weeks before her due date, and can receive Maternity EI for up to 17 weeks after the date of birth. It's pretty typical in low risk pregnancies to start taking maternity EI a few weeks before the due date, but someone women start taking it earlier and some wait until they go into labour.
We are coming close to the due date. My wife is taking her vacation days now and then plans to apply for Maternity EI 10 days before her due date. If the baby comes early (while she is still on vacation days) is she supposed to apply for maternity EI from the baby's birth date (and give up remaining few vacation days, and possibly re-adjusting her return to work date)?
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
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Ottawa
ghuraba wrote: We are coming close to the due date. My wife is taking her vacation days now and then plans to apply for Maternity EI 10 days before her due date. If the baby comes early (while she is still on vacation days) is she supposed to apply for maternity EI from the baby's birth date (and give up remaining few vacation days, and possibly re-adjusting her return to work date)?
Technically, she can receive up to 15 weeks of Maternity EI. Maternity EI needs to stop by 17 weeks after the week of birth or the due date, whichever is later. That means if she gives birth early, she technically has a longer amount of time to claim Maternity EI; 2 weeks early means she has 18 weeks to take her 15 weeks of benefits. Generally one always has to apply for EI no later than 4 weeks after ending work or eligibility might change, but it doesn't sound like you'll run into that limitation.

She might be ok with her current plan to use the vacation for the first couple of days, but I'm not 100% sure because I haven't dealt with that situation.

I think that taking vacation up front is definitely the better option as far as the Ontario ESA is concerned. If she pushes the vacation to when she intends to return, she runs the risk of her employer denying a request to use that vacation; though they can't deny her taking her entire unpaid leave period of up to 79 weeks. It might be a low risk, but it exists.

I'd call Service Canada, because what's most typical is to start Maternity EI as soon as you stop working.
Jr. Member
Sep 27, 2010
169 posts
43 upvotes
Toronto
Dynatos wrote: Technically, she can receive up to 15 weeks of Maternity EI. Maternity EI needs to stop by 17 weeks after the week of birth or the due date, whichever is later. That means if she gives birth early, she technically has a longer amount of time to claim Maternity EI; 2 weeks early means she has 18 weeks to take her 15 weeks of benefits. Generally one always has to apply for EI no later than 4 weeks after ending work or eligibility might change, but it doesn't sound like you'll run into that limitation.

She might be ok with her current plan to use the vacation for the first couple of days, but I'm not 100% sure because I haven't dealt with that situation.

I think that taking vacation up front is definitely the better option as far as the Ontario ESA is concerned. If she pushes the vacation to when she intends to return, she runs the risk of her employer denying a request to use that vacation; though they can't deny her taking her entire unpaid leave period of up to 79 weeks. It might be a low risk, but it exists.

I'd call Service Canada, because what's most typical is to start Maternity EI as soon as you stop working.
Thanks. I'll call them
Member
Nov 6, 2011
226 posts
92 upvotes
Surrey
Hey guys, just a question regarding EI. I get 11 weeks top up from employer and plan to take the first 11 weeks off to be with my wife and newborn. Wife only wants to take max 15 months as she plans to return to work May 2023 (due due feb 2022). Does anyone know if I can take 11 weeks upfront and take the remainder after she has returned to work to care for my baby? I could not find anywhere if we are able to split paternal leave in our case.

Thanks
Deal Fanatic
Nov 11, 2008
8713 posts
2367 upvotes
KrazyKleo wrote: Hey guys, just a question regarding EI. I get 11 weeks top up from employer and plan to take the first 11 weeks off to be with my wife and newborn. Wife only wants to take max 15 months as she plans to return to work May 2023 (due due feb 2022). Does anyone know if I can take 11 weeks upfront and take the remainder after she has returned to work to care for my baby? I could not find anywhere if we are able to split paternal leave in our case.

Thanks
*Deleted for wrong info
Last edited by EPcjay on Sep 4th, 2021 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
2556 posts
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Ottawa
EPcjay wrote: I believe your partner can be on maternity leave while you take parental. However, you both cannot take parental at the same time.
Incorrect. Both parents can receive parental EI benefits concurrently.

@KrazyKleo Call Service Canada to confirm, but I'm fairly certain you can split your EI into two periods, I.e. before or with and after your wife.

However, most provincial labour standards don't let you split your job protected leave. That second block of parental would likely not be job protected. It would be leave without pay, and your employer could legally treat it as a resignation.
Member
Nov 6, 2011
226 posts
92 upvotes
Surrey
Dynatos wrote: Incorrect. Both parents can receive parental EI benefits concurrently.

@KrazyKleo Call Service Canada to confirm, but I'm fairly certain you can split your EI into two periods, I.e. before or with and after your wife.

However, most provincial labour standards don't let you split your job protected leave. That second block of parental would likely not be job protected. It would be leave without pay, and your employer could legally treat it as a resignation.
Thank you! I tried calling Service Canada and I got a really vague response. I will call again.

For the second block of leave I'm not concerned about job protection as I work in a small town that is always looking for workers. I will be moving closer to my wifes work place so I just wanted to take care of my child until I find a new job after the EI runs out.

Appreciate the response guys!

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