Maternity, Parental and Adoption Leave for BCGEU Okanagan

What benefits will I receive during a maternity, parental or adoption leave?

The following tables show the Employment Insurance benefits and Supplemental Employment Benefits top-up that you may be eligible for.

Birth Mother

Birth mothers are eligible for 78 weeks of unpaid maternity and parental leave (17 weeks maternity and 35 weeks standard parental leave or 61 weeks extended parental leave). During the unpaid leave, the birth mother can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) and Supplemental Employment Benefits top-up (SEB). For parental leave, 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. The scenario below assumes the birth mother claims the full EI parental benefits (if there is sharing, then the payments will be adjusted).

Type of leave EI benefits from Service Canada SEB top-up from UBC Additional SEB top-up upon return to work? 6 month return to work requirement in order to keep SEB top-up?
Maternity Week 1: unpaid

Week 2-16 (15 weeks maternity): 55% of salary (max of $562/week)

 

Week 1: 75% of salary

Week 2: 75% of salary plus EI benefit

Week 3-16: EI benefit topped up to 75% of salary

No Yes
Parental Standard parental benefits

Week 17-51 (35 weeks parental): 55% of salary (max of $562/week)

OR

Extended parental benefits

Week 17-77

(61 weeks): 33% of salary (max of $337/week)

Week 17-51: EI benefit calculated under standard parental option (55% of salary up to a maximum of $562/week) topped up to 75% of salary

This is the SEB top-up calculation and the amount remains the same if you choose the extended parental option.

No Yes

Birth Father

Birth fathers are eligible for 62 weeks of unpaid parental leave. During the unpaid leave, the birth father can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) and Supplemental Employment Benefits top-up (SEB). For parental leave, 62 weeks of EI benefits are payable in total between the birth mother and birth father. The scenario below assumes the birth father claims the full EI parental benefits (if there is sharing, then the payments will be adjusted) and that the Week 1 waiting period for EI benefits does not apply because it was previously satisfied by the birth mother.

UBC Employee Group EI benefits from Service Canada SEB top-up from UBC Additional SEB top-up upon return to work? 6 month return to work requirement in order to keep SEB top-up?
BCGEU Okanagan Standard parental benefits

Week 1-35 (35 weeks): 55% of salary (max of $562/week)

OR

Extended parental benefits

Week 1-61 (61 weeks): 33% of salary (max of $337/week)

Week 1-35: EI benefit calculated under standard parental option (55% of salary up to a maximum of $562/week) topped up to 75% of salary

This is the SEB top-up calculation and the amount remains the same if you choose the extended parental option.

No Yes

 

Adopting Parent

Adopting parents are eligible for 62 weeks of unpaid adoption leave (37 weeks standard parental leave or 62 weeks extended parental leave). During the unpaid leave, the adopting parent can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) and Supplemental Employment Benefits top-up (SEB). The scenario below assumes the adopting parent (first parent) claims the full 62 weeks of EI parental benefits.

UBC Employee Group EI benefits from Service Canada SEB top-up from UBC Additional SEB top-up upon return to work? 6 month return to work requirement in order to keep SEB top-up?
BCGEU Okanagan Week 1: unpaid

Standard parental benefits

Week 2-36 (35 weeks parental): 55% of salary (max of $562/week)

OR

Extended parental benefits

Week 2-62 (61 weeks): 33% of salary (max of $337/week)

Week 1: 75% of salary

Week 2: 75% of salary plus EI benefit  calculated under standard parental option

Week 3-36: EI benefit calculated under standard parental option (55% of salary up to a maximum of $562/week) topped up to 75% of salary

This is the SEB top-up calculation and the amount remains the same if you choose the extended parental option.

No Yes

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.

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.

If you meet EI’s eligibility rules for benefits, you will receive EI maternity and parental benefits up to the number of weeks specified below. The payment is generally around 55% of your pre-leave earnings for the standard parental leave or around 33% of your pre-leave earnings for the extended parental leave up to a specific maximum amount. To be eligible for EI benefits, birth mothers must have 600 insurable hours in the 12-month period before the start of the leave.

After serving a one-week waiting period that is unpaid, birth mothers may be eligible for up to 78 weeks of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits from Service Canada during their maternity and parental leave (15 weeks of EI maternity plus 35 weeks of EI standard parental benefits or 61 weeks of EI extended parental benefits).

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.

The 78-week maximum assumes that the birth mother applies for the full 61 weeks of EI parental benefits. The 61 weeks of EI parental benefits may also be shared with the birth father (see EI benefits for birth fathers below).

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. You should do this at least eight weeks before the start date of your leave.

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?

Yes. This program tops up your EI maternity benefit payment to more closely match your regular earnings. See the section Supplemental Employment Benefit for more information and how to apply.

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.

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.

If you meet EI’s eligibility rules for benefits, you will receive EI parental benefits up to the number of weeks specified below. The payment is generally around 55% of your pre-leave earnings for EI standard parental leave or around 33% of your pre-leave earnings for EI extended parental leave up to a specific maximum amount. To be eligible for EI benefits, birth fathers must have 600 insurable hours in the 12-month period before the start of the leave.

EI benefits are payable for a maximum of 61 weeks between the birth mother and birth father, if these benefits are shared. If unshared, one parent can receive the full 61 weeks (either the birth mother or birth father).

The one-week waiting period for EI benefits is not required to be served if it was previously satisfied by the birth mother during her maternity leave.

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. You should do this at least eight weeks before the start date of your leave.

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 adoption 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?

Yes. This program tops up your EI parental benefit payment to more closely match your regular earnings. See the section Supplemental Employment Benefit for more information and how to apply.

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. You must complete your parental leave within the first 78 weeks of your child arriving in your home.

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.

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.

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

If you meet EI’s eligibility rules for benefits, you will receive EI parental benefits up to the number of weeks specified below. The payment is generally around 55% of your pre-leave earnings for EI standard parental benefits or 33% of your pre-leave earnings for EI extended parental benefits up to a specific maximum amount. 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.

After serving a one-week waiting period that is unpaid, EI benefits are payable for a maximum of 61 weeks between adopting parents. 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 EI benefits are shared between adopting parents, only one waiting period needs to be served.

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. You should do this at least eight weeks before the start date of your leave.

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 adoption 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?

Yes. This program tops up your EI parental benefit payment to more closely match your regular earnings. See the section Supplemental Employment Benefit for more information and how to apply.

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.

Supplemental Employment Benefit

What is the Supplemental Employment Benefits Program?

The Supplemental Employment Benefits (SEB) Program pays the difference between the Employment Insurance (EI) maternity and/or parental benefit and 75% of your salary for a specified period of time.

For example, if you have monthly gross earnings of $4,000 ($1,000/week), your EI maternity/parental benefit will pay you 55% of those earnings, up to a maximum of $562 a week (EI maximum for 2019). You will receive the maximum amount ($562/week) and SEB will top this up by $188/week so that your combined EI and SEB benefit payment will total $750/week (75% of your weekly salary) during the specified number of weeks you are eligible for top-up. (This is an illustrative example only.)

Service Canada will calculate your EI maternity/parental benefit based on your average weekly earnings over the 12 month period from the start date of your leave.  UBC will calculate your SEB top-up based on your current salary at the time of your leave.

If you are a member of a Staff employee group and you do not return to work after your leave for at least six months, you will be required to reimburse UBC the total value of the SEB payments you received while on leave.

Am I eligible for the SEB?

You are eligible for SEB if you a birth mother taking maternity/parental leave, a birth father taking a parental leave or an adopting parent taking parental leave.

You must also:

  • be currently actively employed by UBC,
  • have your EI benefits claim approved by Employment and Social Development Canada, and
  • be returning to work for at least six months following your leave. If you do not return to work for at least six months, you may be required to pay UBC back any top-up benefits you received depending on your employee group. (This does not apply to Academic Executives, Faculty, or Postdoctoral fellow employees.)

How do I apply for Supplemental Employment Benefits?

Contact your Staff Payroll Representative in Financial Operations – Payroll to arrange a time to sign a Letter of Agreement for the SEB Program. If you are in a union, a union shop steward must sign the letter as a witness.

By signing the Letter of Agreement, you agree to remain at work for a minimum of six months following your leave. If you do not remain at work for six months, you are required to repay UBC the full amount of the SEB benefits you received. If you return to a part-time position after your leave, you may have to repay some or all of your SEB benefits. If you are not sure whether you will remain at work for six months following your leave, you can apply for the SEB Program retroactively after you return to work for six months. This allows you to avoid a situation where you have to repay a benefit to UBC.

After you have signed the Agreement, provide your Payroll Representative in Financial Operations with a copy of your EI claim statement from your myService Canada account or a copy of your first EI benefit cheque stub. Payroll will use this information to calculate your SEB top-up.