Having or Adopting a Child

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’ll 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:

  • You are eligible for an unpaid leave as the birth or adoptive mother or father.
  • If you meet eligibility rules, you can apply for Employment Insurance maternity or parental benefits, which will 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 to bring their earnings while on leave closer to their pre-leave salary for a specified period of time.
  • You will need to decide whether to maintain your benefit coverage and pension contributions while you are on leave.
  • You may want to add your child to your UBC benefit coverage.
  • You may want to change the beneficiary information on your UBC life insurance.
  • If you have Optional Life Insurance coverage through UBC, for each $25,000 unit of optional life insurance coverage you purchase for yourself, you will receive $5,000 of coverage for each dependent child at no extra charge.
  • UBC has some childcare options you may want to consider for when you return to work.

What leaves and benefits am I eligible for?

You are entitled to take time off work to look after your new child. These leaves include:

  • 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 to up to 52 weeks,
  • an unpaid parental leave of up to 37 weeks if you are the birth father,
  • 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 2278, CUPE 2950 or Management & Professional employee.

Maternity, parental and adoption leaves are unpaid. However, 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 that 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 all these steps in the Maternity, Parental and Adoption Leave page.

How can I add my child to my benefits?

Medical Services Plan, Extended Health, Dental and Employee and Family Assistance Program

Complete the MSP Baby Enrolment 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, complete the Newborn/Adoption Enrolment Form for Group Medical Coverages and forward it to Payroll.

How do I change my life insurance beneficiary?

If you would like to change the beneficiary on your life insurance (Basic and/or Optional Life), submit a form to change your basic life insurance beneficiary and/or optional life insurance beneficiary to Payroll. Keep a copy of the form for your records.

Pension

If you are enrolled in the UBC Staff Pension Plan

Complete a Beneficiary Change/Add Form and submit it to the UBC Pension Administration Office. For further information, please review the SPP Details Sheet on Naming a Beneficiary.

If you are enrolled in the UBC Faculty Pension Plan

Complete a Change of Records form and submit it to Sun Life Financial at the address provided on the form. For further information, review the Designating your Beneficiary page.

Is my child covered by my optional life insurance?

If you have enrolled in UBC’s optional Life Insurance plan, for each $25,000 unit of optional life insurance coverage you purchase for yourself, you will receive $5,000 of coverage for each dependent child at no extra charge. See the Optional Life Insurance page for more information.

What childcare services are available to staff and faculty?

Contact UBC Childcare Services for information.