Maternity/Parental/Adoptive Leave EI Benefit Changes – Information for Administrators

In the February issue of Benefits FYI, we highlighted the federal government changes to EI benefits for maternity, parental and adoptive leaves that came into effect on Dec. 3, 2017. We also detailed how these benefits work with UBC’s SEB top-up and provided four scenarios to help illustrate the information.

Summary of Key Points

  1. In addition to the two parental EI benefits options (standard and extended), note that employees may be off for a longer period of time if they select the extended parental EI benefits.
  2. Any additional leave taken beyond what is stipulated in the BC Employment Standards Act will be considered general unpaid leave and the employee is responsible for the full cost of the benefits and pension they wish to continue.
  3. There are no changes to how top-up is calculated for maternity leave for birth mothers.
  4. With the exception of BCGEU Okanagan, birth parents with staff appointments (mothers and fathers) are not eligible for top-up during parental leave. As such, during the parental leave they will receive standard or extended parental EI benefits only.
  5. BCGEU Okanagan birth parents (mothers and fathers) are eligible for top-up during parental leave; however, the top-up calculation is under development with the introduction of the extended EI parental benefit. More information will be available soon.
  6. Birth parents with faculty appointments (mothers and fathers) are eligible for top-up during parental leave, and if the extended EI parental benefits is chosen, the top-up will be calculated based on the standard option. This includes Academic Executives and Postdoctoral Fellows (employees).

For HR Administrators

If you have staff who will be taking maternity, parental or adoptive leave, we encourage you to consider how you will fill your department’s staffing requirements during the employee’s leave. If you have any questions on how to fill leave replacement positions over the new extended parental leave periods, please contact your HR Advisor.

When using ePAF (for a staff leave) or paper form (for a faculty leave) to notify Payroll of a leave, make sure you correctly code the leave for Payroll purposes. For example, if you have an employee who fits key point #2 above, please code the additional leave beyond 52 weeks for birth mothers, and 37 weeks for birth fathers and adopting parents as general unpaid (personal) leave.

More information