Throughout your life journey, there will be various things in life that are common for most of us. Going to school, or pursuing higher education, can be one of those aspects that brings bright minds together. Or, working in various roles can also be a commonality between most human beings. As you get older, you may even become a parent.
Of course, most of us can’t just quit our jobs while we raise our child. That is why certain areas in your contract can allow you to take a leave of absence, while still being compensated. Parental leave is the term used to describe this area, but there is so much more to it than meets the eye. The following indicates what you need to know regarding it, if you live in Ontario.
1. The Definition
Although taking some time off work is important for raising a child, parental leave is very meticulous in nature. To put it simply, you are allowed to take some time off work while the employer holds your job open for you. Both you and your partner are entitled to this form of leave as well.
Moreover, you should think about how this type of leave will affect your life, if you become pregnant. This can be a long term choice that will have implications on various areas of your life. It is especially important to know how the leave will work, depending on which province you are living in.
2. Basic Rules
In the province of Ontario, parental leave can come in different forms, each of which having their own rules. Parental leave here, however, is seen as unpaid time off work when a baby is born, or comes into your care. The latter describes a situation when a child could be adopted at a young age for new parents.
In addition, those who choose to take the leave can continue to receive benefits in certain plans if applicable. Ultimately, this will depend on what that plan constitutes. Employees who take this parental leave can continue to earn credit for length of employment or service. Once the leave is finished, it is expected for the employee to be back to work.
3. Employment Lawyer
Of course, not everything can go according to plan, even if you know exactly how to use your entitled leave. If you are having issues with determining how much parental leave you can use, a lawyer can help. All matters pertaining to the workplace can be reviewed with an employment lawyer.
Lawyers from ELT are skilled in all matters that have relevancy to the general work environment. If you have questions about parental leave, or how much you can take, be sure to clear it up with them!
4. Pregnancy Leave
There are some aspects of parental leave that can become misconstrued, if not properly researched. In Ontario, there is also a type of leave that is known as pregnancy leave, which is different than parental leave. What makes this type of leave special comes down to the length of time off.
Generally speaking, pregnancy leave gives pregnant mothers seventeen weeks of time off from work. This time off is usually unpaid, but the length of time can also be extended depending on the situation. Employers also do not have to pay wages to those who use pregnancy leave.
Qualifying for parental leave comes down to having the right pieces of criteria fulfilled. As a parent living in Ontario, parental leave can be as long as sixty-one weeks off of work. In other cases, it could be sixty-three weeks, but that will depend on the respective situation. To qualify for either form, the employee should be covered by Ontario’s Employment Standards Act.
The employee should also be employed for at least thirteen weeks, prior to taking the leave. Many Ontarians may be wondering what exactly constitutes the word parent. For simplicity’s sake, you are a parent if you are a birth or adoptive parent. Or, you qualify if you are in a situation that establishes a parental relationship with the child.
6. Giving Your Notice
Parental leave is easy to use if you need to take it. However, your company will still be moving on without you; you need to provide them with an adequate amount of notice. This ensures that all potential gaps are filled, in the event of your absence. Employees, generally speaking, must give two weeks of notice.
If possible, you should also indicate to your employer how long you plan on using your parental leave. That is because it can directly impact your other benefits to be received, such as employment insurance. Should you not state this before you leave, it is assumed you will be taking sixty-one weeks off.