Maternity Rights and Parental Leave

Parents have a number of rights and are well protected when employed and pregnant...

Maternity leave varies from province to province and qualification for maternity leave depends on how long the woman has been employed by her current employer. Federal law states that if employed by the same employer for at least 6 months, the maternity leave entitlement is 17 weeks. This can be taken any time in the 11 weeks before the baby is due, but must end 17 weeks after the baby is born. Legally a pregnant woman's job must be kept open until she returns from maternity leave. It is illegal to fire an employee while she is pregnant.

Maternity and paternity benefits

Parental leave is also offered to anyone who becomes a parent. It is offered across provinces and the entitlement is normally up to a year. Parental leave is normally unpaid, with job seniority, benefits and pay protected.

  • For a province by province guide to parental leave: Click here

Federal Government pays maternity benefits through Employment Insurance (EI) or QPIP in Quebec.

  • For more information about QPIP: Click here
  • For more information about EI, Maternity and Paternity Benefits in Canada: Click here

It is possible to receive up to 50 weeks of maternity and paternity benefits in Canada, which can be split between parents.

  • For qualification details, how to claim and how much benefit a parent is likely to receive: Click here

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