Parental Leave Expanded to 18 Months (for some, not all employees)


What's Changing?

Parents of newborn or newly adopted children will now have the choice to spread their employment insurance benefits over the normal 12-month period or extended 18 months.  This creates more flexibility for parents who opt for the extended parental leave, however it does not result in more money.  They can choose the 12 months of EI benefits at 55 percent of average weekly earnings or 18 months at 33 percent.  33 percent of the maximum EI benefits is currently $362 per week.  The changes also extend job protection for those on parental leave to 18 months. 


Who Does This Change Apply To?

This change is limited to employees who work in federally regulated sectors of the economy such as banking, telecom, transportation and the public service.  This will affect approximately 8% of the Canadian population. 

Federally Regulated Business and Industries:

  • Banks
  • Marine shipping, ferry and port services
  • Air transportation, including airports, aerodromes and airlines
  • Railway and road transportation that involves crossing provincial or international borders
  • Telephone, telegraph and cable systems
  • Radio and television broadcasting
  • Grain elevators, feed and seed mills
  • Uranium mining and processing
  • Businesses dealing with protection of fisheries as a natural resource
  • Many First Nation activities
  • Most federal crown corporations
  • Private business necessary to the operation of a federal act


When Does the Change Take Effect?

These extended parental leave changes are effective December 3, 2017.