Parental Leave Allowance for B.C. Government employees
Parental leave allowance supplements the amount you receive from employment insurance (EI) during your parental leave.
You are eligible if you are receiving EI benefits and are
- A regular (full- or part-time) employee
- An auxiliary employee eligible for benefits under your collective agreement or terms and conditions of employment
The parental leave allowance is the difference between 75 percent of your basic pay and the gross benefit you receive from EI.
The maximum amount of parental leave allowance paid is 35 weeks and the allowance can be claimed either fully by one parent, or shared between two parents.
Parental leave can begin any time within the 52 weeks following the birth or adoption. However, EI and parental allowance benefits end 52 weeks after the birth.
Benefit Waiting Period Allowance
EI requires a one-week benefit waiting period between the time you apply for parental leave with EI and the time they process your first payment. There is no additional waiting period if you are sharing parental leave and your partner has already served the benefit waiting period.
If you qualify for parental allowance and are required to serve the waiting period, we provide an allowance of 85 percent of your basic pay for the waiting period.
Salary Used to Calculate the Allowance
The allowance is calculated according to your base position. If the position’s wage goes up during your leave, the allowance will increase. Check your collective agreement to find out what increases apply.
If you are on a temporary appointment at the time of your leave, you'll receive an allowance calculated on the salary stated in your temporary appointment letter. If your temporary appointment is scheduled to end during your leave, the allowance is recalculated using the basic pay amount for your base position for the rest of your leave.
Income Tax Implications
Income tax is deducted from parental leave allowance and Employment Insurance payments. However, you should consider your personal tax situation and discuss it with an independent financial advisor.
Not Claiming or Choosing to Defer the Allowance
If you are not sure you will be returning to work after your leave, you may choose to defer or not apply for the parental allowance. You may defer your decision only up to the end of the return to work repayment period. Let your supervisor know if you choose to defer.
If you take the allowance, then resign at the end of your parental leave, or do not fulfil the back-to-work requirements of your collective agreement or your terms and conditions of employment, you'll be required to repay benefit premiums and any allowances you have received.
Have questions? Contact AskMyHR.
See Returning to Work (or Not) for further details on benefit repayment.
Below are two ways to add time to your parental leave.
Extended Child Care Leave
Regular employees can take this leave without pay at the conclusion of their 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 initial 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