Maternity, Parental & Adoptive Leave

Becoming a parent is a major event. There are several leaves available so you can look after your new child, including:

  • Birth Mothers: an unpaid maternity leave of up to 17 weeks, if you are the birth mother, which can be combined with an unpaid parental leave of up to 35 weeks to extend your total time off work,
  • Birth Fathers: an unpaid parental leave of up to 37 weeks if you are the birth father,
  • Adopting Parents: an unpaid adoption leave of up to 37 weeks for an adopting parent, and a pre-placement adoption paid leave of up to 20 days, if you are an Administrative Executive, CUPE 116, CUPE 2278, CUPE 2950 or Management & Professional employee.

Maternity, parental and adoption leaves are unpaid. When you apply for a maternity, parental or adoption leave, you can also apply for Employment Insurance (EI) maternity or parental benefits from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). EI benefits are administered by Service Canada.

If you meet EI’s eligibility rules for benefits, you will receive EI benefits if you are a birth mother, birth father or adopting parent. The payment is generally around 55% of your pre-leave earnings up to a specific maximum amount.

Some employee groups are also eligible for Supplementary Employment Benefits that can be used to top up your EI benefit payments to 75% or 95% of your pre-leave salary for a specified period of time.

If you are planning to take a maternity, parental or adoption leave, you will need to:

  • notify your supervisor of the start and end dates of your leave (ideally at least four weeks ahead of the start date of your leave),
  • apply for the EI maternity or parental benefit through Service Canada,
  • apply for Supplementary Employment Benefits if this benefit is available to your employee group, and
  • decide whether to maintain your benefit coverage and pension contributions. See Benefits Coverage while on a Leave for more information.

Learn more about maternity, parental and adoption leave and paid benefits during your leave

There are some differences between the plans for each of UBC’s employee groups, so please review the section that applies specifically to your group.