Parental Leave for B.C. Government Employees
This information is provided for BC Government employees
Parents welcoming a new baby are entitled to either standard parental leave of up to 37 consecutive weeks or extended parental leave of up to 63 weeks beginning anytime within the 52 weeks, for standard parental, or 78 weeks, for extended parental, following the birth or adoption.
If you are combining parental leave with maternity leave, then your parental leave entitlement is either 35 consecutive weeks if you select the standard parental leave option or 61 consecutive weeks if you select the extended parental leave option, beginning immediately after the end of the maternity leave. Follow the steps for maternity leave, and then contact your supervisor to confirm your return to work plans (whether you are returning to work, taking extended child care leave if applicable, or resigning) one month before the end of your leave.
Where both parents are BC Public Service employees, they each qualify for the full amount of unpaid parental leave. However, you must split the 35 weeks (standard parental) or 61 weeks (extended parental) of top-up allowance between the two of you. Both parents are required to choose the same parental benefit option, either standard or extended.
You can defer the start of parental leave, as long as it begins within the 52-week period following the birth or adoption of the child. EI requires parental leave to conclude within 52 weeks for standard parental leave or 78 weeks for extended parental leave following the birth or adoption of the child. Therefore, if any part of the leave falls outside the 52 weeks for standard parental leave or 78 weeks for extended parental leave, there is no supplemental allowance for that portion. If you are only taking parental leave, follow the instructions below.
Before you apply, read the important information about your benefits, vacation and pension contributions while on parental leave.
Follow this timeline. Notify AskMyHR of your upcoming leave.
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:
- The Maternity, Parental, Pre-placement Adoption Leave and/or Allowance Application (PDF, 350KB)
- A copy of the birth certificate or adoption papers (if the birth or adoption has already taken place*)
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). State the dates of your leave and submit a copy of the birth certificate. Parental leave cannot begin before the baby's birth or child's placement.
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. Send the birth certificate or adoption papers through AskMyHR as soon as they are available.
If you don't want to continue your benefits, cancel your coverage during 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:
- Your name and employee number
- Copy of your My Latest Claim EI page. This should show your benefit waiting period dates (if applicable), benefit amount and start and end dates of your approved EI claim
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
At least one month before the end of your leave, inform your supervisor in writing of your intention to return to work. Use the Sample Letter to Supervisor Advising of Return to Work (DOCX, 67KB). Also inform your supervisor if you are
- Submitting a request for extended child care leave , if applicable (and this leave was not already included in your maternity or parental leave letter)
- Resigning and will not return to work
Extending Your Leave
There are two ways to extend your time off after you’ve used your parental leave.
Extended child care leave
Regular employees can take this leave without pay at the end of their parental leave as long as they have not already taken the full 18 months with maternity and extended parental 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.
Employees can also use vacation earned before their, parental leave to extend their time off work.
- Look up your annual vacation entitlement