Growing your family can be an exciting an meaningful part of any life. Canada, and the province of Ontario, understand this. The Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Labour has ensured that new mothers and fathers are provided with time off work and job security after the birth of their children. Thanks to this, having a child in Ontario can be a time of joy, not worry or stress.
A full list of benefits and rights can be found here with the Ministry of Labour, but here are some important facts about your rights regarding Parental Leave in Ontario.
For Pregnant women:
Pregnant women are granted up to 17 weeks of pregnancy leave in Ontario. During this time, employers do not pay waged, but the they must allow mothers to have this time off to be with their newborns, whether the mother is a part-time, full-time, temporary or contract employee so long as her job is covered by the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and she began working at her place of employment at least 13 weeks prior to the leave. Pregnancy leave can typically begin 17 weeks before the date the baby is due, but if she begins her leave 17 weeks prior to a due date and does not give birth on that date, the leave can continue.
Parental leave in Ontario:
New fathers and mothers are both eligible for parental leave in Ontario. Typically, parental leave is 35 weeks, though mothers who chose not to take pregnancy leave can have 37 weeks of parental leave. As with pregnancy leave, new parents’ jobs need to be covered by the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and must have begun at least 13 weeks prior to the leave. The leave is granted to birth parents, adoptive parents, and unmarried significant others of a parent, who plans on having the child in his or her life as though it was his or her own. Typically, this leave happens 52 weeks or fewer after the birth or beginning of adoption or care, though it does not have to be finished within this time period. Parental leave needs to be taken all together (parents cannot take some time off, go back to work, and then take more time later). Like pregnancy leave, parental leave is unpaid.
Other rights for pregnancy and parental leave in Ontario:
Not only are new parents guaranteed time off, but the majority of the time, they are required to have the same job, or a very similar job when they return, and receive the same wages. Further, they cannot be penalized in any way for taking this time off, and must be allowed to participate in the same benefit plans as prior to the leave (pension plans, life insurance plans, etc.)
From all of us here at Settle-in.com, we hope the time you take for growing your family is joyful and secure!
Want to learn more about pregnancy and reproductive rights in Ontario? Sign up for Settle-in.com and visit “The Guide” Read the “Health and Wellbeing” and “Families” sections for more helpful information.