HR Toolkit

HR Policies & Employment Legislation

Sample Policies on Common HR Topics

Leaves - maternity leave, parental and adoption leave

Legislated requirements for maternity leave, parental leave and adoption leave are aimed at ensuring that biological and adoptive parents have access to time off to have and care for a new child, and to assure that they can go back to the same job or a comparable position when the leave is over.

Most provinces and territories have fact sheets about maternity and parental/adoption leave.

All jurisdictions set minimum requirements for the duration of maternity leave and parental/adoption leave. Maternity leave is usually 17 or 18 weeks; some provinces and territories allow for extended maternity leave when there are medical complications. Parental/adoption leave is usually 35 weeks.

Minimum standards laws also set out a variety of rules that employers' leave policies and practices must respect - for example, criteria that establish employees' eligibility for leave, notice requirements and rules about continuing benefit coverage during the leave.

Employees can apply to receive Employment Insurance benefits while they are on maternity leave or parental/adoption leave.

Employers may top up the EI payments to make up some or all of the difference between the EI benefit and the employee's regular salary.


Sample policies

Maternity/Parental Leave - YWCA Yellowknife (PDF - 37KB)

  • Covers maternity, parental and adoption leave
  • Addresses eligibility, the Employment Insurance Act and procedural details