By Human Resources Communications on April 23, 2019
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.
By Human Resources Communications on September 25, 2018
In the February 2018 issue of Benefits FYI, we explained how Employment Insurance (EI) benefits and UBC’s Supplemental Employment Benefits top-up would work as a result of the federal government changes to EI benefits for maternity and parental leaves that came into effect on December 3, 2017.
On May 17, 2018, amendments to the BC Employment Standards Act came into effect. These changes bring the maternity, parental, and compassionate care leave provisions in line with the federal government changes.
Details of the changes are summarized in the following table:
|Type of Leave||Old Provision||New Provision|
|Maternity||Maternity leave could begin up to 11 weeks before the child’s expected birth date.||Maternity leave may begin up to 13 weeks before the child’s expected birth date.|
|Parental – Birth Mothers||Birth mothers could take up to 35 weeks of parental leave.||Birth mothers may take up to 61 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave, which must begin immediately following maternity leave.|
|Parental – Birth Fathers||Birth fathers could take up to 37 weeks of parental leave within a 52-week period.||Birth fathers may take up to 62 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave, which must begin within 78 weeks (18 months) after the birth of the child.|
|Parental – Adopting Parents||Adopting parents could take up to 37 weeks of parental leave within a 52-week period.||Adopting parents may take up to 62 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave, which must begin within 78 weeks (18 months)|
|Compassionate Care||An employee could take up to eight weeks of unpaid compassionate care leave within a 26-week period.||An employee may take up to 27 weeks of unpaid compassionate care leave within a 52-week period.|
For more information, please visit:
Do you have questions? Contact the Health, Wellbeing & Benefits team at email@example.com.
By Human Resources Communications on February 8, 2017
Becoming a parent is an exciting life transition. You may be eligible for a maternity, parental or adoptive parent leave to look after your new child. You will also want to consider making changes to your benefits now that you have a child.
Here’s a summary of what you need to know:
Unpaid Leave, Employment Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Employment Benefits
Birth or adoptive mothers and fathers are eligible for unpaid leave under the BC Employment Standards Act.
During the unpaid leave, birth or adoptive mothers and fathers may qualify for Employment Insurance maternity and/or parental benefits after serving a one-week waiting period (formerly two-week waiting period), which provide you with a certain percentage of your pre-leave earnings to a maximum amount.
Some UBC employee groups are eligible for a top-up benefit called the Supplemental Employment Benefits Program to bring their earnings while on leave closer to their pre-leave salary for a specified period of time.
For further details including how to apply for leave, eligibility for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits and Supplemental Employment Benefits (SEB) and how to apply, please visit our Maternity, Parental and Adoptive Leave page.
Continuing Your Benefits Coverage While on Leave
You will need to decide whether to maintain your benefit coverage and pension contributions while you are on leave.
UBC will continue to pay the employer portion of your benefit premiums and you are responsible for paying the employee portion of the premiums that are normally deducted from your paycheque.
For your pension, UBC will continue to contribute the employer portion only if you continue to contribute the employee portion.
Visit Benefits Coverage While on Leave for further details.
Add Your Child to Your Benefits
You should receive the MSP Baby Enrolment Form at the hospital. Complete the form and submit it to Health Insurance BC.
If you are enrolled in the MSP, Extended Health, Dental and Employee and Family Assistance Program through UBC, also complete the Newborn/Adoption Enrolment Form for Group Medical Coverages and forward it to Payroll.
For other considerations, such as updating your UBC life insurance beneficiary or for childcare options, please visit our Having or Adopting a Child page.
By Human Resources Communications on February 12, 2015
Welcoming a new baby or child into the family is a joyous occasion. It is also a time of many changes in family life and family dynamics which may necessitate time away from work to establish and adjust to new routines. To support you, maternity, parental and adoption leaves are available to faculty and staff.
Here is a brief summary of how maternity, parental or adoption leave works:
You are eligible for unpaid leave:
- Birth mothers: 17 weeks maternity + 35 weeks parental = 52 weeks
- Birth fathers: 37 weeks parental
- Adopting parents: 37 weeks parental
- Some employment groups may be eligible for additional unpaid leave.
During your unpaid leave, you may be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits*.
- Once you know the start and end dates of your leave, you can apply for EI benefits from Service Canada. If approved, you will receive 55% of your weekly earnings up to a maximum of $524 per week during your leave, after a 2 week unpaid waiting period is served.
- 15 weeks of EI maternity benefits are payable to the birth mother
- 35 weeks of EI parental benefits may be paid to one parent (birth mother, birth father or adopting parent) or shared between birth parents or adopting parents. In sharing situations, EI benefits are paid for a maximum of 35 weeks between both parents combined.
While receiving EI benefits, you may be eligible for UBC Supplemental Employment Benefits (SEB)**.
- Some employment groups are eligible for SEB. If eligible, SEB will top-up your EI benefits to 95% of your weekly salary for a specified length of time.
- For example, a female employee who falls under the Management & Professional group takes 52 weeks (full year) of maternity/parental leave. She serves a 2 week unpaid waiting period and then receives $524/week in EI benefits for 50 weeks. The UBC SEB will pay 95% of her weekly salary for the 2 week EI unpaid waiting period and top-up her EI benefit to 95% of salary for 15 weeks. In summary, she will receive 95% of pay for 17 of the 52 weeks of maternity/parental leave.
*In order to be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, you must have 600 hours of insurable employment the previous 52 week period prior to the intended start date of benefits. Postdoctoral Fellow Award Recipients are ineligible for EI benefits; however, they may receive paid benefits from their Award or UBC (if their Award does not pay).
**Eligibility for SEB benefits depends on your employment group. Staff employees are required to return to work for at least six months following their leave. To find out if you are eligible, visit the Leaves page for your group.
For full information on the maternity, parental or adoptive provisions, including a Step-by-Step Guide to Taking a Maternity, Parental and Adoption Leave:
- Go to the Leaves page on the Human Resources website
- Select your employment group
- Click on Maternity, Parental and Adoption Leave.
For further questions, please contact Stephanie Mah, Benefits Specialist, at 604-822-6823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.