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
For your parental top-up allowance, your options depend on which type of parental leave you elect to take.
If you opt for the standard parental leave, the parental leave allowance is the difference between 75 percent of your basic pay and the gross benefit you receive from EI for up to 35 weeks and the allowance can be claimed either fully by one parent, or shared between two parents.
If you opt for extended parental leave, your overall top-up allowance will be the same total value as if you had received the maximum 35 weeks allowance under the standard parental leave. The weekly amount will be calculated by dividing the total amount by 61 weeks to determine your lower weekly amount to be paid over the extended leave period.
Please note: your choice for your top-up allowance is irrevocable. Once the standard or extended parental allowance is set, it cannot be changed if you decide to return to work early.
Parental leave can begin any time within the 52 weeks for the standard parental leave or 78 weeks for the extended parental leave following the birth or adoption. However, EI and parental allowance benefits end 52 weeks for standard parental leave or 78 weeks for extended parental leave 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.