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More Flexibility for Parents

Consultation has concluded

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Canadian families welcome new children into their lives – and they must balance their work and care responsibilities during this important time.

To provide more flexible Employment Insurance (EI) maternity and parental benefits, as well as unpaid job-protected leaves under the Canada Labour Code for workers in federally regulated enterprises, the Government of Canada is considering new options for eligible Canadians who are off work to care for a newborn or a newly adopted child, in addition to the current option of a combined 12 months of maternity and parental benefits and unpaid leave:

  1. Allowing combined maternity and parental benefits and unpaid leaves to be extended to up to 18 months at a lower EI benefit rate (more time off work, with less money per month)

  2. Allowing the current amount of parental benefits and unpaid leave to be taken in smaller blocks of time over a period of up to 18 months rather than over 12 months.

Each option would result in the same total amount of EI benefits paid, and each option involves considerations for both employees and their families and their employers. In each of the options, the duration of the EI maternity benefit and leave would not be changed.

As we explore ways to do this, we would like your input so that we can learn what is most important to you. Join the conversation – tell us your stories and what you think.

We invite you to read the discussion paper before submitting your views.

Please note: The Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) offers maternity and parental benefits as well as paternity benefits to residents of the province of Quebec. Accordingly, Quebec residents are not eligible for EI maternity or parental benefits. However, if you are a resident of Quebec, we welcome your views and feedback.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Canadian families welcome new children into their lives – and they must balance their work and care responsibilities during this important time.

To provide more flexible Employment Insurance (EI) maternity and parental benefits, as well as unpaid job-protected leaves under the Canada Labour Code for workers in federally regulated enterprises, the Government of Canada is considering new options for eligible Canadians who are off work to care for a newborn or a newly adopted child, in addition to the current option of a combined 12 months of maternity and parental benefits and unpaid leave:

  1. Allowing combined maternity and parental benefits and unpaid leaves to be extended to up to 18 months at a lower EI benefit rate (more time off work, with less money per month)

  2. Allowing the current amount of parental benefits and unpaid leave to be taken in smaller blocks of time over a period of up to 18 months rather than over 12 months.

Each option would result in the same total amount of EI benefits paid, and each option involves considerations for both employees and their families and their employers. In each of the options, the duration of the EI maternity benefit and leave would not be changed.

As we explore ways to do this, we would like your input so that we can learn what is most important to you. Join the conversation – tell us your stories and what you think.

We invite you to read the discussion paper before submitting your views.

Please note: The Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) offers maternity and parental benefits as well as paternity benefits to residents of the province of Quebec. Accordingly, Quebec residents are not eligible for EI maternity or parental benefits. However, if you are a resident of Quebec, we welcome your views and feedback.
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