5 Things You Need to Know About Maternity and Parental Leave

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Adding a new member to your family is stressful financially and otherwise. Luckily, in Canada, new parents are entitled to paid leave. Make sure that you know your rights and responsibilities so that you can effectively take advantage of this program and know when to contact an employment lawyer.

1. You May Take Leave for An Adoption

Although you cannot receive maternity leave for adopting a child, you can still receive the parental leave. Adopted newborns need parents as much as non-adopted newborns. If your employer will not grant you parental leave to handle an adoption or you think you have been unfairly treated for choosing to adopt, you should contact a qualified employment lawyer. If you want to learn more, the Levitt LLP website has plenty of useful information and resources.

2. You Have Responsibilities Related to your Leave

You must give your employer written notice of your intention to take leave. The notice should include details about how long you intend to take leave. If unexpected circumstances arrive, such as a premature birth, the employee may give retroactive notice to their employer. In this case, the employee has two weeks to submit notice to their employer with details about the start and intended end date or their maternity or parental leave. Failure to provide notice will not terminate your right to leave, but you still must provide notice as soon as possible.

3. Your Salary Can Change During Leave

While your company cannot change your salary because of your parental leave, you may receive a pay decrease if a similar group or cohort all receives pay decreases. This also means that you are entitled to the same pay raises as your peers at work. If your pay decreased and your peers’ did not decrease or if your peers received raises and you did not, you should contact an employment lawyer.

4. Your Can Take a Break in Your Parental Leave

If your newborn has been hospitalized, you have the right to return to work temporarily without losing any parental leave. If you expect your newborn to hospitalized for a long period of time, you should let your employer know that you plan to come back temporarily. After your baby is discharged, you can resume your parental leave as long as your parental leave ends within 104 weeks of the child’s birth.

5. Employers Cannot Force Pregnant Employees to Work Without Accomodations

When you become pregnant or start nursing, you should talk to your doctor about the activities you perform at work. If you or your doctor feel that one or more of your duties is inappropriate, you should request a modification from your employer. You have the right to take time off while your employer investigates and reviews your request.