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You may have seen the news!!! Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is keeping his campaign promise of extending parenting leave to 18 months! That means if you qualify and can afford to stay home with your little one for 18 months your job will be secured and your benefits will be allocated over 18 months instead of 12. This will not be effective right away; there still needs to be some changes to the Employment Insurance Act. Unless something drastically changes, you should see the changes in about a year.
Here are the key points.
Parental leave (yes, it applies to dads) is now 18 months instead of 12. Maternity leave benefits can start 12 weeks before the baby is born instead of 8 weeks.
What to expect when it comes to payment? With the 12-month plan you would be eligible for 55% of your income (up to a maximum of $543 per week). The payments under the new plan, because it is stretched out over a longer time, will be lower. The first 15 weeks, you will still receive the 55%, but after that, it will be reduced to 33%.
Which begs the question, will parents be able to choose to do 12 months and have the regular top up? Or will the be forced to do the longer plan?
Qualification requirements still stay the same. To qualify, you need to have worked at least 600 hours in the last year.
What does this mean for you? Could you afford to stay home for 18 months? Will you want to?