Parental Leave for B.C. Government Employees

Parents welcoming a new baby are entitled to parental leave of up to 37 consecutive weeks beginning anytime within the 52 weeks following the birth or adoption.

If you are combining parental leave with maternity leave, then your parental leave entitlement is 35 consecutive weeks, beginning immediately after the end of the maternity leave. Follow the steps for maternity leave, then inform your supervisor of your plans (whether you are returning to work, taking extended child care leave, or resigning) one month before the end of your leave.

Where both parents are BC Public Service employees, they shall each qualify for up to 37 weeks of parental leave.

The start of parental leave may be deferred, as long as the leave begins within the 52-week period following the birth or adoption of the child. EI requires parental leave to conclude within 52 weeks following the birth or adoption of the child. Therefore, if any part of the leave falls outside the 52 weeks, there is no supplemental allowance for that portion. If you are only taking parental leave, follow the instructions below.

Read the important information about your benefits, vacation and pension contributions while on parental leave before you apply for this leave.

Timeline

Follow this timeline. Notify AskMyHR of your upcoming leave, and contact us at any time if you have questions.

Before starting parental leave

If you are eligible for parental leave benefits, submit the following documents to your supervisor at least one month before your leave:

If you are not eligible for parental leave benefits but are requesting parental leave, submit a Sample Letter to Supervisor Advising of Maternity or Parental Leave (DOCX, 740KB) stating the dates of your leave and a copy of the birth certificate. Parental leave cannot begin before the baby's birth or placement of the child. 

If the birth or adoption is in the future, submit your application to your supervisor to HOLD until they are advised of the birth of your child and the dates can be confirmed. Then your supervisor will submit the letter or application through AskMyHR immediately, and you should send the birth certificate or adoption papers through AskMyHR as soon as they are available.

If you don't want to continue your benefits coverage, be sure to cancel your coverage for the duration of your leave.

When your leave begins

Apply for employment insurance. Payroll Services will electronically submit your ROE directly to Service Canada. The soonest a ROE can be issued is five days after the pay period has ended in which your leave started.

After your first EI payment

If you choose to take the parental allowance, send the following through an AskMyHR service request or by fax 250 652-2155 after you receive your first EI payment:

  • Copy of your My Latest Claim EI page, which should show your benefit waiting period dates (if applicable), benefit amount and start and end dates of your approved Employment Insurance claim
  • Your name and employee number

After the birth or adoption

Update your medical and dental benefits and your life insurance plans:

If you have flexible benefits, you have 60 days from the birth of your baby in which to make changes to your flexible benefits options.

Before the end of your leave

Inform your supervisor in writing of your intention to return to work at least one month before the end of your leave. Use the Sample Letter to Supervisor Advising of Return to Work (PDF, 167KB). Also inform your supervisor if you are

  • Submitting a request for extended child care leave (and this leave was not already included in your maternity or parental leave letter)
  • Resigning and will not be returning to work

Extending Your Parental Leave

There are two ways to extend your parental leave:

Extended child care leave

Regular employees can take this leave without pay at the conclusion of their maternity, parental or pre-placement adoption leave. The total combined leave can be up to 18 months. Send a written request to your supervisor at least four weeks before the end of your leave.

Extended child care leave follows the same rules as a general leave without pay for pension contributions and maintaining benefits coverage.

Vacation

Employees can also use vacation earned before their maternity, parental or pre-placement adoption leave to extend their time off work.