Changes to the Employment Insurance Act – Impacts on Maternity and Parental Benefits

December 05, 2017


On December 3, 2017, the following changes to the Employment Insurance Act took effect:

When the effective date of these changes was announced, it left very little time for the parties to make the necessary changes to collective agreements for federal government employees to take advantage of these new benefits.   

Until the parties have the opportunity to negotiate amendments to collective agreements, you will be entitled to maternity and parental leave and benefits as follows: 

Maternity Benefits

Parental Benefits

Individuals will have two options when applying for EI parental benefits:

Employees who choose the second option can request leave without pay for the care of family to cover the extended period they are in receipt of parental benefits and they will be able to return to their position when then return from leave.

The parental top-up provision language in the collective agreements will continue to apply. If employees elect to receive benefits over a 61 week period at a 33% benefit replacement rate:

It is our position that approval of this leave is not discretionary, as it is considered an extension of parental leave to allow for new parents to receive parental benefits under the Employment Insurance Act.  

Québec residents receive benefits under the Québec Parental Insurance Plan and are not affected by the changes to the federal benefits.