Kent Hehr

Your member of parliament for


Calgary Centre

Kent Hehr

Your member of parliament for


Calgary Centre

Menu

A New Parental Sharing Benefit

“The new parental sharing benefit will give parents extra flexibility and encourage Canadians to share the work and joy of raising their children more equally.”

Women make 85 percent of all parental claims and take longer leaves from the workplace, the Employment Insurance (EI) parental sharing measure is intended to promote greater gender equality by creating an incentive for all parents to take some leave when welcoming a new child and share the work of raising their children more equally.

When women have equal opportunities to succeed, they are powerful agents of change—driving strong economic growth and improving the quality of life for their families and their communities. Originally anticipated for June 2019, this new measure will provide an additional five weeks of Employment Insurance parental benefits when parents—including adoptive and same-sex parents—agree to share parental benefits, or an additional eight weeks for those who choose the extended parental benefit option. Parents with children born or placed for adoption on or after March 17, 2019, will be eligible.

RBC Economics estimates that adding more women to the workforce could boost the level of Canada’s GDP by as much as 4 percent.

Providing Canadians with the opportunity to realize their full potential isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do for our economy.

In our most recent budget, equality of opportunity was a guiding principle, taking us further towards this more prosperous Canada than ever before.

That is why, through Budget 2018, to support young families and gender equality in both the workplace and the home, the Government intends to introduce a new Employment Insurance parental sharing benefit.

This benefit would help support a more equal distribution of home and work responsibilities by providing an additional five weeks of EI parental benefits when parents, including adoptive and same-sex parents, agree to share parental leave.

Or an additional eight weeks for those who choose the extended parental benefit option.

This “use it or lose it” approach is designed to create an incentive for all parents to take some leave when welcoming a new child, and to share equally in the work of raising their children.

Since December 3, 2017, parents of a newborn or newly adopted child are able to choose between two parental benefit options.

The first option is to receive 35 weeks of parental benefits at the current rate of 55 percent over a period of up to 12 months. The second option is to receive 61 weeks of parental benefits for an extended period of time, at a lower rate corresponding to 33 percent of their average weekly income. Combined parental and maternity benefits could be spread over 18 months.

Combined parental and maternity benefits could be spread over 18 months. In addition, eligible pregnant workers are now able to receive Employment Insurance maternity benefits up to 12 weeks before their expected delivery date. This is more flexible than the previous situation, which limited benefits to eight weeks before the expected delivery date.