How Changes to EI Parental Benefits Can Impact You

 

In our last issue of Benefits FYI, we summarized the federal government changes to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits for maternity and parental leaves that came into effect on December 3, 2017.

To explain how EI benefits (maternity and parental) and UBC’s Supplemental Employment Benefits (SEB) top-up work, we’ve organized the details by birth mother, birth father and adopting parents. We’ve also included four scenarios to help illustrate the information.

Birth Mothers

Type of Leave: Maternity

EI Benefits from Service Canada:

  • No change
  • Week 1: Unpaid
  • Week 2-16 (15 weeks): 55% of salary (max. of $547/week)

SEB Top-up from UBC:

  • If you are part of an employment group eligible for top-up during maternity leave, there is no change to how your top-up is calculated. Please visit our Maternity, Parental and Adoptive Leave section for more details.

Type of Leave: Parental

EI Benefits from Service Canada (NEW – Effective Dec. 3, 2017):

You have a choice of standard or extended parental EI benefits:

  • Standard parental benefits: Week 17-51 (35 weeks): 55% of salary to a max. of $547/week;  OR
  • *Extended parental benefits: Week 17-77 (61 weeks): 33% of salary to a max. of $328/week

Two parents may share the EI parental benefits and both parents are required to choose the same option, either standard or extended. You cannot change between options once parental benefits have been paid.

SEB Top-up from UBC:

  • Staff, with the exception of BCGEU Okanagan, will receive either standard or extended parental EI benefits (no top-up is available during parental leave.)
  • BCGEU Okanagan: BCGEU Okanagan will receive either standard or extended parental EI benefits. The top-up calculation is under development and more information will be available soon. Please contact your HR Advisor if you have any questions.
  • Academic Executives, Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellow employees:
    • If you choose standard parental benefits, your EI benefit will be topped up to 95% of salary for 10 weeks.
    • If you choose extended parental benefits, your top-up to 95% will be calculated based on the standard option (55% of salary to a max. of $547/week) for 10 weeks.

If you select the extended EI parental benefits option, you will need to request additional leave if you plan to take more than the number of weeks that is available to you under the BC Employment Standards Act (52 weeks for birth mothers and 37 weeks for birth fathers and adopting parents). Any approved, additional leave will be considered general unpaid leave and you will be responsible for paying the full cost of the benefits and pension you choose to maintain.


Birth Fathers

Type of Leave: Parental

EI Benefits from Service Canada (NEW – Effective Dec. 3, 2017):

You have a choice of standard or extended parental EI benefits:

  • Standard parental benefits: Week 1-35 (35 weeks): 55% of salary to a max. of $547/week; OR
  • *Extended parental benefits: Week 1-61 (61 weeks): 33% of salary to a max. of $328/week

Two parents may share the EI parental benefits and both parents are required to choose the same option, either standard or extended. You cannot change between options once parental benefits have been paid.

Only one parent is required to serve the one-week unpaid waiting period for EI benefits.

SEB Top-up from UBC:

  • Staff, with the exception of BCGEU Okanagan, will receive either standard or extended parental EI benefits (no top-up is available during parental leave.)
  • BCGEU Okanagan: BCGEU Okanagan will receive either standard or extended parental EI benefits. The top-up calculation is under development and more information will be available soon. Please contact your HR Advisor if you have any questions.
  • Academic Executives, Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellow employees:
    • If you choose standard parental benefits, your EI benefits will be topped-up to 95% of salary for 10 weeks.
    • If you choose extended parental benefits, your top-up to 95% of salary will be calculated based on the standard option (55% of salary to a max. of $547/week for 10 weeks.)
    • For both options, if you are required to serve the one-week unpaid waiting period for EI benefits, you will receive 95% of salary from UBC during that week.

If you select the extended EI parental benefits option, you will need to request additional leave if you plan to take more than the number of weeks that is available to you under the BC Employment Standards Act (52 weeks for birth mothers and 37 weeks for birth fathers and adopting parents). Any approved, additional leave will be considered general unpaid leave and you will be responsible for paying the full cost of the benefits and pension you choose to maintain.


Adopting Parents

Type of Leave: Parental

EI Benefits from Service Canada (NEW – Effective Dec. 3, 2017):

You have a choice of standard or extended parental EI benefits:

  • Standard parental benefits: Week 1-35 (35 weeks): 55% of salary to a max. of $547/week; OR
  • *Extended parental benefits: Week 1-61 (61 weeks): 33% of salary to a max. of $328/week

Two parents may share the EI parental benefits and both parents are required to choose the same option, either standard or extended. You cannot change between options once parental benefits have been paid.

Only one parent is required to serve the one-week unpaid waiting period for EI benefits.

SEB Top-up from UBC:

  • Staff, with the exception of Executive Administrative and BCGEU Okanagan, will receive either standard or extended parental EI benefits (no top-up is available during parental leave.)
  • BCGEU Okanagan: BCGEU Okanagan will receive either standard or extended parental EI benefits. The top-up calculation is under development and more information will be available soon. Please contact your HR Advisor if you have any questions.
  • Academic Executives, Faculty, Postdoctoral Fellow employees and Executive Administrative staff:
    • If you choose standard parental benefits, your EI benefit will be topped up to 95% of salary for 10 weeks.
    • If you choose extended parental benefits, your top-up to 95% of salary will be calculated based on the standard option (55% of salary to a max. of $547/week for 10 weeks.)
    • For both options, if you are required to serve the one-week unpaid waiting period for EI benefits, you will receive 95% of salary from UBC during that week.

If you select the extended EI parental benefits option, you will need to request additional leave if you plan to take more than the number of weeks that is available to you under the BC Employment Standards Act (52 weeks for birth mothers and 37 weeks for birth fathers and adopting parents). Any approved, additional leave will be considered general unpaid leave and you will be responsible for paying the full cost of the benefits and pension you choose to maintain.


Scenarios at Work

To show how your EI benefits for maternity and parental leaves work under the new federal government’s changes, please review the following scenarios.

Scenario #1: Cassandra is a CUPE 2950 employee…

…and her baby is due next month.  She has decided to take the new extended parental EI benefit for 61 weeks. She will be taking the full parental EI benefit (no sharing). What benefits will she receive?

During Cassandra’s maternity leave, she will receive:

  • Week 1 (1 week): 95% of salary
  • Week 2 (1 week): 95% of salary plus EI maternity benefit (55% of salary to a max. of $547/week)
  • Week 3-16 (14 weeks): EI maternity benefit topped up to 95% of salary

During Cassandra’s parental leave, she will receive:

  • Weeks 17-77 (61 weeks): EI extended parental benefit (33% of salary to a max. of $328/week) only. No top-up is available during parental leave.

Cassandra will receive the additional 5% of salary for 16 weeks of her maternity leave when she returns to work from leave.

During Weeks 1-52, UBC will continue to pay the employer-paid portion of Cassandra’s benefits — provided Cassandra pays her share (the portion she would normally pay through payroll deduction). After Week 52, Cassandra will be required to pay the full cost of any benefits and pension she chooses to maintain for the rest of her leave (with the exception of the first month of MSP and Dental).


Scenario #2: Lauren is a faculty member…

…and her baby is due in the summer. Her spouse, Jose, is also a faculty member and they have decided to share the 61 weeks of extended parental EI benefits. Lauren is taking 24 weeks and Jose is taking 37 weeks.  What benefits will they receive?

During Lauren’s maternity leave, she will receive:

  • Week 1 (1 week): 95% of salary
  • Week 2 (1 week): 95% of salary plus EI maternity benefit (55% of salary to a max. of $547/week)
  • Week 3-16 (14 weeks): EI maternity benefit topped up to 95% of salary

During Lauren’s parental leave, she will receive:

  • Weeks 17-26 (10 weeks): EI extended parental benefit (33% of salary to a max. of $328/week). She will receive 10 weeks of top-up. Her 95% top-up will be calculated based on the standard option (55% of salary to a max. of $547/week).
  • Weeks 27-40 (14 weeks): EI extended parental benefit only

During Jose’s parental leave, he will receive:

  • Weeks 1-10 (10 weeks): EI extended parental benefit (33% of salary to a max. of $328/week). He will receive 10 weeks of top-up. His 95% top-up will be calculated based on the standard option (55% of salary to a max. of $547/week).
  • Weeks 11-37 (27 weeks): EI extended parental benefit only

This example assumes Lauren takes the parental EI benefits after her maternity EI benefits. This is not a requirement.

Both Lauren and Jose can choose when to take their parental EI benefits (on separate weeks or at the same time), as long as they are claimed within 78 weeks after the child’s date of birth.

UBC will continue to pay the employer-paid portion of Lauren and Jose’s benefits — provided they pay their share (the portion they would normally pay through payroll deduction).


Scenario #3: Darren is an Executive Administrative employee…

…and will be adopting a child with his partner who works at another organization. Darren has selected the standard EI parental benefit. What benefits will he receive?

During Darren’s parental leave, he will receive:

  • Week 1 (1 week): 95% of salary
  • Week 2 (1 week): 95% of salary plus EI standard parental benefit (55% of salary up to a max. of $547/week)
  • Weeks 3-11 (9 weeks): EI standard parental benefit topped up to 95% of salary.
  • Weeks 12-36 (25 weeks): EI standard parental benefit only

Darren will receive the additional 5% of salary for 11 weeks of his parental leave when he returns to work from leave for six months.

UBC will continue to pay the employer-paid portion of Darren’s benefits — provided he pays his share (the portion he would normally pay through payroll deduction).


Scenario #4: Jill is a Management & Professional employee…

…at the Okanagan campus and just found out she is expecting a baby. She is thinking about taking the new extended EI parental benefit for 61 weeks. What benefits will she receive?

During Jill’s maternity leave, she will receive:

  • Week 1 (1 week): 95% of salary
  • Week 2 (1 week): 95% of salary plus EI maternity benefit (55% of salary to a max. of $547/week)
  • Week 3-16 (14 weeks): EI maternity benefit topped up to 95% of salary

During Jill’s parental leave, she will receive:

  • Weeks 17-77 (61 weeks): EI extended parental benefit (33% of salary to a max. of $328/week). No top-up is available during parental leave.

Jill will receive the additional 5% of salary for 16 weeks of her maternity leave when she returns to work from leave for six months. For Management & Professional employees, there is a six month return-to-work requirement in order to receive top-up.

During Weeks 1-52, UBC will continue to pay the employer-paid portion of Jill’s benefits — provided Jill pays her share (the portion she would normally pay through payroll deduction). After Week 52, Jill will be required to pay the full cost of any benefits and pension she chooses to maintain for the rest of her leave.


For more information:

Please visit our Maternity, Parental and Adoptive Leave section.

 

One response to “How Changes to EI Parental Benefits Can Impact You”

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