Find out about maternity and parental leave

When can you get maternity or parental leave?

The Employment Standards Act allows employees who have worked for at least 1 year continuously to take:

  • maternity leave; and
  • parental leave.

How much notice must you give your employer?

  • 4 weeks written notice before you want to start the leave; and
  • Notice must be in writing.

Maternity leave

Your employer may need a certificate from a:

  • doctor;
  • nurse practitioner; or
  • midwife.

You can take leave if:

  • you give birth without notice;
  • your pregnancy is terminated; or
  • you have health problems related to your pregnancy.

How much leave can you get?

For either maternity or parental leave:

  • your employer may offer longer leave than is outlined in the Act; and
  • the Act can enforce a longer leave if it's part of your employment contract.

Returning to work

With either leave, your employer must:

  • reinstate you to your previous job; or
  • put you in a similar position.

Who administers maternity and parental benefits?

The federal Employment Insurance Act administers maternity and parental benefits. For more information, phone Service Canada at 1-800-206-7218.