Parental and caregiving benefits and leaves could change

Published November 3, 2016

The federal government wants to give more flexibility to parents and their families by changing maternity and parental EI benefits and leaves of absence. Based on the government’s election promise, this proposal includes:

Longer leave of absence of from work

Parents could take a longer combined leave of absence from work and receive reduced EI parental benefits over that period (up to a maximum of 18 months, when combined with maternity benefits and leave of absence).

Smaller periods of leave over a longer time

The current amount of parental benefits and unpaid leave could be taken in smaller blocks of time over a period of up to 18 months, rather than one unbroken stretch of 12 months. For example, a parent could receive maternity and parental benefits for six months, return to work for six months while a relative provides child care, and then go back on parental leave and get benefits for another six months.

More access to caregiving benefits

More Canadians that care for a family member with a serious illness could get caregiving EI benefits and leaves.

What’s next?

These proposed changes would affect the Canada Labour Code, which only covers federally regulated workers. The government wants the provinces and territories to align rules on parental leave, and is seeking their feedback.

What Restaurants Canada is doing

We’ve shared our concerns about the proposed changes, especially with finding and training replacement workers for short periods. Allowing employees to start-stop-start a leave of absence disrupts the workplace, grows the workload of remaining staff, and reduces opportunity and stability for workers who would typically be contracted during leaves.

Login to the Member Portal to learn more about Restaurants Canada’s response, and alternative proposals that are fair to employees and employers.



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