Maternity, Parental and Adoption Leave for BCGEU Childcare and IUOE 115

Maternity and Parental Leaves for Birth Mothers

How many weeks of leave am I eligible for as a birth mother?

Under the BC Employment Standards Act, birth mothers are eligible for maximum of 78 weeks of unpaid leave. This includes:

  • 17 weeks for a maternity leave and
  • 35 weeks for a standard parental leave or 61 weeks for an extended parental leave.

All UBC employees qualify for an additional six consecutive weeks of unpaid maternity leave if you are unable to return to work after the end of the consolidated unpaid leave period for reasons related to the birth or the termination of the pregnancy, as certified by a medical practitioner.

An additional five consecutive weeks of unpaid parental leave will be granted if your child is certified by a medical practitioner to be suffering from a physical, psychological or emotional condition requiring an additional period of parental care.

If you wish to take additional leave beyond what is stipulated under the BC Employment Standards Act, you must request this in writing from your supervisor and any approved additional leave will be considered a general unpaid leave and you will be responsible for paying the full cost of the benefits and pension you choose to maintain.

What EI benefits am I eligible for during a maternity and parental leave?

Birth mothers may be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits from Service Canada during their unpaid maternity and parental leave. To be eligible for EI benefits, birth mothers must have 600 insurable hours in the 12-month period before the start of the leave.

If you meet EI’s eligibility rules for benefits, you will receive EI maternity and parental benefits as specified below:

    • during maternity leave, the EI maternity payment is 55% of your pre-leave earnings up to a specific maximum amount for 15 weeks after a one week unpaid waiting period is served;
    • during parental leave, birth parents have a choice of standard EI parental benefits (55% of your pre-leave earnings up to a specific maximum amount for 35 weeks) OR extended EI parental benefits (33% of your pre-leave earnings up to a specific maximum amount for 61 weeks) after a one week waiting period is served (this is not required if the birth mother has already served the waiting period). 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.
    • If you select the extended EI parental benefits option, you will need to request additional leave if you will take more than the 61 weeks that is available to you under the BC Employment Standards Act. 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.

Your EI maternity benefits can start as early as 13 weeks before the expected date of birth, and can end as late as 17 weeks after the actual date of birth.

Your EI parental benefits can start as early as the child’s date of birth, and can end no later than 52 weeks after the week the child is born if you choose the standard option or 78 weeks if you choose the extended option.

If you have a child born or placed with you for the purpose of adoption on or after March 17, 2019, and share EI parental benefits with another parent, you may be eligible for the Parental Sharing Benefit. With the sharing benefit, you can take up to:

  • 5 additional weeks of parental benefits when choosing the standard option, or
  • 8 additional weeks of parental benefits when choosing the extended option.

How and when do I apply for a maternity and parental leave and EI benefits?

You should apply for a leave of absence from your department in writing, notifying them of the dates you expect to leave and return to work.  For IUOE 115, you should do this at least eight weeks before the start date of your leave. For BCGEU Childcare, you must inform your department of the expected date of birth of your child ten weeks prior to this date.

Your department will then notify Financial Operations – Payroll that you are going on leave.

To coincide with EI payment weeks and avoid any possible loss of EI benefits begin your leave on a Monday and end it on a Sunday (return from the leave on a Monday).

You should apply for EI maternity and parental benefits from Service Canada as soon as possible after you stop working. If you delay applying for benefits later than four weeks after your last day of work, you risk losing these benefits.

A Record of Employment (ROE) is required for your EI application. Your Payroll Representative will automatically send your ROE electronically to Service Canada after your last paycheque and before the start date of your leave. You do not need to request a ROE from UBC.

If you would like to speak with someone at UBC regarding your Record of Employment:

Am I eligible for Supplemental Employment Benefits during my maternity and parental leave?

No, you are eligible for EI maternity and parental benefits only.

Will I still receive my benefits when I’m on maternity and parental leave?

See the section Benefits Coverage while on a Leave for more information.

Will I accrue vacation while on maternity and parental leave?

See the Vacation page for more information.

Will I accrue sick days while on maternity and parental leave?

See the Paid Sick Leave page for more information.

Parental Leave for Birth Fathers

How many weeks of leave am I eligible for as a birth father?

Under the BC Employment Standards Act, birth fathers are eligible for up to 62 weeks of unpaid parental leave.

An additional five consecutive weeks of unpaid parental leave will be granted if your child is certified by a medical practitioner to be suffering from a physical, psychological or emotional condition requiring an additional period of parental care.

If you wish to take additional leave beyond what is stipulated under the BC Employment Standards Act, you must request this in writing from your supervisor and any approved additional leave will be considered a general unpaid leave and you will be responsible for paying the full cost of the benefits and pension you choose to maintain.

What EI benefits am I eligible for during a parental leave?

Birth fathers may be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits from Service Canada during their unpaid parental leave.  To be eligible for EI benefits, birth fathers must have 600 insurable hours in the 12-month period before the start of the leave.

If you meet EI’s eligibility rules for benefits, you will receive EI parental benefits as specified below:

    • during parental leave, birth parents have a choice of standard EI parental benefits (55% of your pre-leave earnings up to a specific maximum amount for 35 weeks) OR extended EI parental benefits (33% of your pre-leave earnings up to a specific maximum amount for 61 weeks) after a one week waiting period is served (this is not required if the birth mother has already served the waiting period). 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.
    • If you select the extended EI parental benefits option, you will need to request additional leave if you will take more than the 62 weeks that is available to you under the BC Employment Standards Act. 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.

Your EI parental benefits can start as early as the child’s date of birth, and can end no later than 52 weeks after the week the child is born if you choose the standard option or 78 weeks if you choose the extended option.

If you have a child born or placed with you for the purpose of adoption on or after March 17, 2019, and share EI parental benefits with another parent, you may be eligible for the Parental Sharing Benefit. With the sharing benefit, you can take up to:

  • 5 additional weeks of parental benefits when choosing the standard option, or
  • 8 additional weeks of parental benefits when choosing the extended option.

How and when do I apply for a parental leave and EI benefits?

You should apply for a leave of absence from your department in writing, notifying them of the dates you expect to leave and return to work.  For IUOE 115, you should do this at least eight weeks before the start date of your leave. For BCGEU Childcare, you must inform your department of the expected date of birth of your child ten weeks prior to this date.

Your department will then notify Financial Operations – Payroll that you are going on leave.

To coincide with EI weeks and avoid any possible loss of EI benefits begin your leave on a Monday and end it on a Sunday (return from the leave on a Monday).

You should apply for EI parental benefits from Service Canada as soon as possible after you stop working. If you delay applying for benefits later than four weeks after your last day of work, you risk losing these benefits.

A Record of Employment (ROE) is required for your EI application. Your Payroll Representative will automatically send your ROE electronically to Service Canada after your last paycheque and before the start date of your leave. You do not need to request a ROE from UBC.

If you would like to speak with someone at UBC regarding your Record of Employment:

Am I eligible for Supplemental Employment Benefits during my parental leave?

No, you are eligible for EI parental benefits only.

Will I still receive my benefits when I’m on parental leave?

See the section Benefits Coverage while on a Leave for more information.

Will I accrue vacation while on parental leave?

See the Vacation page for more information.

Will I accrue sick days while on parental leave?

See the Paid Sick Leave page for more information.

Parental Leave for Adopting Parents (Adoption Leave)

How many weeks of leave am I eligible for as an adopting parent?

Under the BC Employment Standards Act, adopting parents are eligible for maximum of 62 weeks of unpaid adoption leave.

An additional five consecutive weeks of unpaid leave will be granted if your child is certified by a medical practitioner to be suffering from a physical, psychological or emotional condition requiring an additional period of parental care.

If you wish to take additional leave beyond what is stipulated under the BC Employment Standards Act, you must request this in writing from your supervisor and any approved additional leave will be considered a general unpaid leave and you will be responsible for paying the full cost of the benefits and pension you choose to maintain.

What EI benefits am I eligible for during an adoption leave?

As an adopting parent, you may also be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) parental benefits from Service Canada during your unpaid adoption leave. To be eligible for EI benefits, adopting parent (s) must have 600 insurable hours in the 12-month period before the start of the leave.

If you meet EI’s eligibility rules for benefits, you will receive EI parental benefits as specified below:

    • during adoption leave, adopting parents have a choice of standard EI parental benefits (55% of your pre-leave earnings up to a specific maximum amount for 35 weeks) OR extended EI parental benefits (33% of your pre-leave earnings up to a specific maximum amount for 61 weeks) after a one week waiting period is served (only one parent is required to serve the waiting period). 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.
    • If you select the extended EI parental benefits option, you will need to request additional leave if you will take more than the 62 weeks that is available to you under the BC Employment Standards Act. 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.

Your EI parental benefits must be completed within the first 52 weeks of your child arriving in your home if you choose the standard option or 78 weeks if you choose the extended option.

If you have a child born or placed with you for the purpose of adoption on or after March 17, 2019, and share EI parental benefits with another parent, you may be eligible for the Parental Sharing Benefit. With the sharing benefit, you can take up to:

  • 5 additional weeks of parental benefits when choosing the standard option, or
  • 8 additional weeks of parental benefits when choosing the extended option.

How and when do I apply for an adoption leave and EI benefits?

You should apply for a leave of absence from your department in writing, notifying them of the dates you expect to leave and return to work.  For IUOE 115, you should do this at least four weeks before the start date of your leave. For BCGEU Childcare, we suggest four weeks notice as well.

Your department will then notify Financial Operations – Payroll that you are going on leave.

To coincide with EI weeks and avoid any possible loss of EI benefits begin your leave on a Monday and end it on a Sunday (return from the leave on a Monday).

You should apply for EI parental benefits from Service Canada as soon as possible after you stop working. If you delay applying for benefits later than four weeks after your last day of work, you risk losing these benefits.

A Record of Employment (ROE) is required for your EI application. Your Payroll Representative will automatically send your ROE electronically to Service Canada after your last paycheque and before the start date of your leave. You do not need to request a ROE from UBC.

If you would like to speak with someone at UBC regarding your Record of Employment:

Am I eligible for Supplemental Employment Benefits during my adoption leave?

No, you are eligible for EI parental benefits only.

Will I still receive my benefits when I’m on adoption leave?

See the section Benefits Coverage while on a Leave for more information.

Will I accrue vacation while on adoption leave?

See the Vacation page for more information.

Will I accrue sick days while on adoption leave?

See the Paid Sick Leave page for more information.