Eligible employees can get maternity, adoption and parental leave. Eligible employees can also take bereavement leave, crime-related child death, and crime-related child disappearance leave.
To view a summary of these leaves, please review the Employment Leaves Quick Reference - Maternity, Adoption, Parental and the Employment Leaves Quick Reference - Family.
1. Maternity Leave
Pregnant employees can get 19 weeks of maternity leave.
An employee whose pregnancy terminates up to 13 weeks before the estimated date of birth due to a miscarriage or a stillbirth may also take 19 weeks of leave.
An employee must give four weeks’ written notice before the day leave begins. Along with the notice, employers may require employees to provide a certificate from a doctor or nurse practitioner which includes the reason for the leave and any extension. The note should also provide the estimated date of return to work.
Accommodating a Pregnant Employee
If a pregnancy unreasonably interferes with the performance of an employee's job, the employer can modify the employee's job or reassign the employee. If so, the employee's wages and benefits cannot be reduced.
If it is not possible to accommodate the employee, the employee can be required to commence maternity leave up to 13 weeks before the estimated date of birth.
Beginning Leave Early Due to Illness
A pregnant employee who can provide a medical certificate saying they must stop work for medical reasons may leave work immediately. The employee is not required to start maternity leave at this time and can delay the start of the 19-week maternity leave up to the estimated date of birth.
Contact the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission toll-free at 1-800-667-9249 or www.saskatchewanhumanrights.ca for more information about the rights of ill or injured pregnant employees.
Sick leave benefits may also be available through Employment Insurance. Visit a Service Canada office or call them toll-free at 1-800-206-7218.
Starting Maternity Leave
Maternity leave can start at any time during the 13 weeks before the estimated date of birth, and/or no later than the date of birth. If the employee does not give the employer at least four weeks' written notice before starting leave, the 19-week maternity leave is reduced to 15 weeks. The 15-week leave can start at any time during the nine weeks before the estimated date of birth.
If Birth is Delayed
If the actual date of birth is later than the estimated date of birth, the employee is entitled to not less than six weeks' leave after the actual date of birth.
Extending Maternity Leave for Medical Reasons
Maternity leave can be extended six weeks (for a total of 25 weeks) if there is a medical reason for not returning to work. A medical certificate is needed for this extension.
Employers and employees can agree to a longer leave. To prevent misunderstanding, such agreements should be in writing.
2. Adoption Leave
The primary caregiver of an adopted child can take 19 weeks of adoption leave. Only the primary caregiver of an adopted child can get adoption leave. The adopting family decides who the primary caregiver will be.
The employee's written notice four weeks before the day leave begins should state what date the child is expected to come into the employee's care. If this date is not known and if requested by the employer, the notice should include whatever notice has been given by Social Services, the adoption agency, or the birth parent.
Adoption leave starts on the day the child becomes available for adoption or the child comes into the employee's care.
3. Parental Leave
In addition to maternity leave and adoption leave, parental leave can be taken following maternity or adoption leave, or separately.
The parent who took maternity or adoption leave is eligible for up to 59 weeks of parental leave. Parents who did not take maternity leave or adoption leave are eligible for up to 71 weeks.
If the employee is on maternity or adoption leave and is requesting parental leave, the written notice must be submitted at least four weeks before the employee was to return to work. The new estimated date of return to work should be included in the notice. The parental leave notice can be included with the maternity or adoption leave notice.
When a parent taking maternity or adoption leave also takes parental leave, the parental leave must be taken consecutively with the maternity or adoption leave.
If one parent takes both maternity or adoption leave and parental leave, the parental leave must be taken any time in the period between 13 weeks before the estimated date of birth and 78 week after the actual date of birth or date the child comes into the employee's care.
If the parent taking parental leave is not the same parent who took maternity or adoption leave, parental leave must be taken any time in the period between 13 weeks before the estimated date of birth and 86 weeks after the actual date of birth or the date the child comes into the employee's care.
4. Bereavement Leave
When a member of an employee’s immediate family dies, an employee with more than 13 weeks of employment with an employer is entitled to take unpaid bereavement leave.
Bereavement leave can be up to five working days. It must be taken within one week before the funeral to one week after the funeral.
5. Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance
Crime-related child death and crime-related child disappearance leaves can last up to 104 weeks. An employee, with more than 13 weeks of employment service with the employer is entitled to this leave if their child has disappeared or died due to a crime-related incident. The employee must also provide notice to the employer as soon as possible before the leave begins.