In the September 2018 issue of Benefits FYI, we explained how amendments to the BC Employment Standards Act that came into effect in May 2018 would impact maternity, parental, and compassionate care leave provisions.
The federal government announced a new sharing benefit for parents who agree to share parental leave.1 If your child was born or placed with you for the purpose of adoption on or after March 17, 2019, and if you want to share EI parental benefits with another parent, you may be eligible for the Parental Sharing Benefit.
Standard option: up to 5 additional weeks of parental benefits
With the new sharing benefit, parents who choose the standard duration of parental benefits could receive up to 40 weeks of parental benefits, an increase from the current 35 weeks. Neither parent can access more than 35 weeks in total, requiring both parents to take some time off in order to access some or all of the additional weeks.
Extended option: up to 8 additional weeks of parental benefits
Parents who choose the extended duration of parental benefits could receive up to 69 weeks of parental benefits, an increase from the current 61 weeks. Neither parent can access more than 61 weeks in total, which requires both parents to take some time off in order to access some or all of the additional weeks.
For more information, please visit the Maternity, Parental & Adoptive Leave page.
Access Family Support Services through EFAP
In addition to the financial assistance offered through the new Parental Sharing Benefit, UBC employees enrolled in the Employee and Family Assistance Program can access a variety of family support services.
UBC’s EFAP extends a personalized approach when it comes to helping you and your family. EFAP provider Morneau Shepell offers both phone consultations and resource packages to help you get the information you need to cope with parenting challenges and uncertainties. Their family support specialists can assess your needs and identify and locate services, including:
- Parenting classes, daycare centres and after-school programs
- Schools, educational services, and special needs programs
- Adoptions and multiple birth services
- Emergency homecare services
Their individualized resource packages include articles and helpful tools that focus on:
- Family planning and parental leaves
- Parenting tools for all ages and stages
- Building or enhancing family dynamics and relationships
Morneau Shepell also offers an online resource hub with articles on various family-related topics, such as having or adopting a baby and parenting. (Note: Please enter “University of British Columbia” as your organization to access these articles.)
Connect with confidential EFAP support by calling 1-800-387-4765 or visit workhealthlife.com.
Do you have questions? Contact the Health, Wellbeing & Benefits team at firstname.lastname@example.org.