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. This notice must include a medical certificate that states the estimated date of birth. 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.