In addition to maternity leave and adoption leave, parental leave can be taken following maternity or adoption leave, or separately.
The birth parent or primary caregiver is eligible for 59 weeks of parental leave. Parents who did not take maternity leave or adoption leave are eligible for up to 63 weeks. The parent or primary caregiver must have at least 13 weeks of employment with their employer.
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. For the parent that does not take maternity leave or adoption leave, the parental leave can be taken in the period up to 13 weeks before the estimated date of birth but before 78 weeks after the actual date of birth.
If the parental leave is taken after maternity or adoption leave, four weeks' written notice must be provided before the end of the maternity or adoption leave. If taken separately, four weeks' notice must be given before the leave is to begin. An employer can request a birth or adoption certificate along with the notice.
Upon returning, an employee is entitled to return to the same job if the employment leave is for 60 days or less. If the leave is longer than 60 days, the employee can be reinstated to a comparable job. The employee must receive at least the same wage and benefits as before the leave.
Employers cannot take discriminatory action against an employee if the employee has applied for or taken an employment leave or is otherwise absent from the workplace.
For more information about eligibility and Employment Insurance maternity benefits, please contact Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218.