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Canada: 16th International review of leave policies and related research 2020

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Doucet, A., Lero, D., McKay, L., & Tremblay, D. G.
Publication Date: 
17 Sep 2020

Excerpted from Canadian chapter

Note on federal and provincial/territorial responsibility: In Canada, the federal Employment Insurance (EI) programme, funded by employers and employees and administered by the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada, provides Maternity and Parental leave benefits to parents residing outside the province of Québec. Entitlement to job-protected leave from employment is granted through labour laws (employment standards acts) that fall under the jurisdiction of the ten provinces and three territories (referred to below as ‘jurisdictions’) as well as the Canada Labour Code, for the seven per cent of employees in federally regulated industries. This results in 14 different legislated leave entitlements. Variations between jurisdictions have implications for how (unpaid) legally entitled leave and the two benefit programmes are accessed and used. Overall, the federal wagecompensation benefit programme and provincial/territorial/federal legal entitlements to job-protected leave operate with two separate sets of rules. In Canada, ‘leave’ therefore refers to either unpaid, job-protected time off work or to benefit programmes. In 2011, self-employed parents outside Québec became eligible for federal benefits on an opt-in basis. In January 2006, the province of Québec launched its own provincial Maternity, Paternity, and Parental leave benefit programme for employed and self-employed workers called the (QPIP). Details of the QPIP programme are given under ‘regional or local variations in leave policy.’ The information below refers to the two benefit programmes (EI and QPIP). Details regarding unpaid job-protected leave appear at the end of the Parental leave section.