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Employers’ views

over 3 years ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

As an employer, if EI benefits and/or unpaid job-protected leaves were made more flexible and available over a longer period of time, how would you address this and what impact would this have on your business?

Father with young son in his lap.
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Consultation has concluded

  • jsteeves over 3 years ago
    Increases in the costs of doing business in Canada, including increases in payroll taxes, will negatively impact Canadian automotive manufacturing competitiveness with other jurisdictions where costs are lower. Certainty and predictability are key factors when global investment decisions are made. We encourage the government to consider the following prior to making further decisions: • Any changes to EI Benefits, including parental and maternity leave will have a significant impact on employers. It is recommended that the government take more time to consult with employers/the business community to better determine impacts on competitiveness. • Employers would experience an increase in costs whether EI premiums are raised or benefits reduced and spread out over a longer period of time. This would impact competitiveness. • The “More Flexibility for Parents” discussion paper has not taken into consideration that many employers top up EI benefits and this can be a part of collective agreements. This aspect needs further attention as changes may need to be negotiated and employer costs may increase. This would be on top of the costs incurred to find a replacement worker for 18 months versus 12 months. • Allowing leaves in smaller chunks of time would also impact certainty and predictability which is critical to employers, their competitiveness and productivity.
  • CGL over 3 years ago
    As an employer that requires staff to have annual training updates, it is already difficult to get a staff member up to speed after 12 months, let alone 18 months. I don't mean to sound rude as we allow our staff as much unpaid leave as they want as long as the work gets done as it is, but the requirement to hold their job open for them is problematic. My bigger concern is that someone whom I've invested in for 6 months will already qualify for full maternity/parental leave. This means that I have to hire a replacement and retrain them... which... after 6 months, they would qualify for full maternity/parental as well. As a result, there is a huge risk that I will now be required to hold two positions available for two different maternity/parental leaves when there was only one spot to begin with. This is just not economically feasible for an employer to keep TWO positions available for only one job for 18 months and expect not to have massive training costs after that time.
  • lbelovich over 3 years ago
    It is difficult for a business to hire a temporary 12 month maternity leave employee (especially in a field that requires certification and training). Extending the Leave to 18 months does makes it difficult for an employer in a business that is continuously changing. To allow parents the option to come and go from their job intermittingly during an 18 month period of time would make that impossible! We would have to staff the maternity leave assuming they will be gone for 18 months. If they come and go during that period of time we can not afford to have 'two people' hired at the same time. We wouldn't let the temporary replacement go until we knew for sure they were no longer needed. As well, where would they sit? We would need an office, desk, computer, telephone, software licences.... it is cost prohibitive ! Please please consider how a business would function when making this decision. NOTE: Currently we DO NOT hire based on age or gender. We hire the best person for the position! Our plan is continue to do this.
  • derpyt over 3 years ago
    As a small business owner I am opposed to the change. The current system of 12 months is fair and equitable for everyone. We have 3 children and have experienced both the old and new systems. Increasing this benefit to 18 months would place our small business in a very challenging and detrimental situation. Most of our 11 full time staff are women and the nature of our business is that we would likely have to scale back and shrink in order to maintain the quality of work for our clients rather than jeopardize future contracts. If 2 or more women were to leave for 18 month stretches it is very difficult to find replacements for that time frame and continue with our current volume; with the reality being that I would have to retreat to a smaller volume threshold where by 1 or 2 other employees would be laid off. It bothers me that a policy designed to help individuals would in my reality hurt business and harm others because it would not fit with our ability to maintain or grow due to our location.
  • eva over 3 years ago
    Dear Mr. Trudeau; Is this really an issue Canadians are clamoring about? Is the current maternity leave program a failure, are parents forgoing childbirth En Masse due to horrid child rearing conditions? As a father of 2 children, my wife and I both took maternity leave (6 months) when they were born. As with most mothers, my wife took 75% of the leave (only 6 months back 20 years ago) since she was breast feeding. We were both employed at the time and since she worked as a teacher, a replacement for her position was easily filled AND her income was graciously topped up by her employer. My position as a carpenter with a small firm was harder to fill and my employer experienced substantial disruptions Because the firm was a small business and my employer could not afford it, my unemployment insurance premium was not topped up. Currently, mothers who have worked 6 months at a company are eligible for a 17 week maternity leave after her pregnancy. Following this leave period, both parents can opt to share or unilaterally take another 37 weeks of leave with job security. The mother can also choose to take the full 52 weeks as needed. Is this time off not enough for the mother? Consider a small business with 5 employees, where half the team specializes in providing service/products and employees require several years of training (investment) and practice before fully efficient. Now consider if only one employee (female) went on leave for the max. allowable time (18 months new plan). If this individual were on the production team, the business would have to scramble to find a highly trained replacement worker (very difficult) and productivity would definitely be affected. If 2/5 employees were to go on maternity leave at once (male or female) or in succession; the effects on the small business would be negative and potentially devastating. Perhaps government can offer small businesses a Maternity Leave Credit if employees go on maternity leave? Small business employs the majority of working Canadians; not large corporations. In fact, there are more workers in government than at large corporations in Canada. In 2012, over 7.7 million employees, or roughly 70% percent (that's 70%) of the total private labour force in Canada was employed by small business (this figure might be higher today due to increased self-employed). Small business is the life-blood of the Canadian economy. Small business can pull an economy out of a recession or bring it into one. The Canadian economy does not live in a bubble. The more trade deals that are signed, the more competitive business have to become. Roughly 75% of our exports go to the U.S. Has the Liberal government considered how increased maternity leave would affect our economy? Lowering business competitiveness in Canada will affect small business trade with the U.S. and elsewhere where maternity leave is not as generous? Many small businesses are already struggling to keep afloat. How many businesses will be put over the edge and go out-of-business due to lost productivity/competitiveness? How many addition more Canadians will go on unemployment roll and yes; will fewer businesses will be created due to excessive government meddling in how business operates. I believe the proposed maternity leave, with 50% additional time off for parents will put a damper on small business productivity. If the liberal government truly cares about maintaining a vibrant business environment, cares about growing the economy, cares about unemployment, the small business person (man or woman), it should carefully review all facts, positives and negatives before embarking on social engineering projects. This brilliant idea most certainly originates from government or from a government subsidized organization. This idea will actually fit government well since governments do not actually produce anything and competition/productivity is NOT an issue. In government, where REAL work economics do not exist, where decisions and laws are passed on a whim, where going over budget IS an option, increased maternity leave is a no-brainer. Even though government employees are already the most privileged workers in the country (highest perks, defined pensions, highest salaries for similar work performed in the private sector…). Perhaps the government can offer this new plan exclusively to its (public) workers. Perhaps raising maternity leave to 2 or 3 years and with increased temporary employment, the government can take credit for a boost in the employment rate! It’s a shame that one salary households is a thing of the past; that families are struggling even as both parents work - many parents have to hold down multiple jobs just to survive. It is equally obvious to anyone that the longer parents can rear their children at home, before daycare, the better. Society definitely benefits when parents and children are happy. Yet if one cares to dig a bit deeper, it will become clear that increased maternity leave will further add to small business grief and as the life blood of the Canadian economy, damaging small business will only damage the country as a whole.
  • Anna Rothney over 3 years ago
    It seems to me that these consultations are missing the boat in not addressing child care, which is crucial for both families and employers. No amount of leave can substitute for a universal affordable child care program.
  • Jocelyne over 3 years ago
    I am opposed to this change. For small businesses it is so hard when one goes on maternity leave for one year and have to replace them with a temp for one year. How many good people are looking to work for year to replace someone on maternity leave and have to go after the year. You have no idea how hard it is for a small business.I myself years ago was off 3 weeks when I had my daughter, there was no such maternity leave and I survived. Now you want to do it for 18 months, c'mon be fair to us small businesses.
  • veterinarian over 3 years ago
    I am opposed to this change. For small businesses, it is burdensome enough to have to hold a job for a full year - and I have so far had 3 staff members take off the maternity leave, during which I held their job and used temporary workers. One let me know a couple of weeks before being due to return that she was not returning; one let me know part way through the leave; and one chose to return part time. I am currently holding a job for a professional staff member who is on her second 1 year maternity leave in 3 years (she returned to work for 3 months prior to getting pregnant again). It is almost impossible to replace professional employees for a 1 year maternity leave. I do feel for the mother's, but the burden placed on the remainder of the professional people in an office is too much to bear, especially if you allow the person to return at random times during the leave. All this legislation is being put in place for the individual with no consideration of the impact it is having on the employers.
  • dlaporte over 3 years ago
    Certainly for a larger business this could be accomplished with a minimum of issues, however for smaller businesses the logistics are severe.
  • bsgibbs over 3 years ago
    It is already difficult enough to recruit and train replacements for a maternity leave. Extending the leave to 18 months may make a temporary position seem more attractive. However, giving the ability to come back to work temporarily in the middle of a maternity leave is insane unless the employer can decline it. In a small office (mine has 3 employees) the notion that cross training and developing full time and part time employee relationships as a contingency is unworkable.
  • kayleek over 3 years ago
    Maternity leave positions are completed as is, however I don't see the difference between hiring a temporary employee for 12 months compared to 18. I actually think it would be more beneficial to the replacement to have steady employment for those extra 6 months.
  • Chad Carlson over 3 years ago
    A longer EI period is fine, but I think the flexible option would be equally beneficial to employers as this would allow for workers on parental leave to fill in during busy times, instead of hiring temporary workers.
  • SKYVIEW over 3 years ago
    The same way we do now, cross train and develop employee relationships with part time and full time personnel in order to allow for any contingency where the employee would be away. Yes we are a small office, but establishing plans to allow for this in the future is not that difficult. All problems can arise during a twelve month leave, and have to be addressed as they arise, so an additional six months is not that far a stretch.
  • BM8644 over 3 years ago
    Not in favour, how is a small office supposed to find staffing? Its a huge burden now finding staff for one year to fill in, they typically leave part way thru because they know its not permanent. If you want to do something for family's- a stay at home parent with children under 14 should be paid the same amount that daycare would be subsidized.
  • Mr. Magnum over 3 years ago
    As an owner of a small business, I know that the accommodations that are already legislated create undue burden on businesses. It is hard enough to operate a small company and requiring that additional leave be given is quite simply unfair. If a couple decides to have children, then daycare services are available to them and if they feel that they want to spend greater time at home with their child(ren) it is not society or the business they work for that should take on the hardship for this. Families have managed for many years up until this point in time.
  • seeshell1978 over 3 years ago
    Seems strange that this space is blank...I hope that you are reaching out to employers to get their feedback and their side of the story. I would imagine that this change could be very challenging for small businesses to be able to accommodate. Although, 18 months may actually make recruiting and retaining temporary positions easier.