Pre-placement adoption leave and allowance
This information is for BC Public Service employees.
If you work for another employer, please contact your Human Resources Office or review the maternity and parental leave information at Service Canada.
Last updated: November 26, 2021
Pre-placement adoption leave without pay can be taken intermittently, as needed, to a combined maximum of 7 weeks (245 work hours) per calendar year.
However, employees are eligible for an allowance of 85% of their basic pay during the period(s) of leave.
Parents preparing to adopt a child can take this leave to attend mandatory pre-placement visits with the prospective adoptive child.
Leave is also available for completing the legal process required by the child's country. This may include travel for international adoption. Refer to your Collective Agreement or Terms and Conditions of Employment for further details.
Leave under this provision will end with the placement of the adoptive child. If a match is not successful, the employee is still eligible for the balance of the yearly maximum.
Pre-placement visits are not normally required for direct placement adoptions, for example, adoptions by:
- A family member
- The partner of a birth parent
- Foster parents, if the child was living with them immediately before the adoption process
Adoptive parents may be eligible for parental leave following the placement.
Please refer to the Parental leave and allowance page on Careers & MyHR.
Check your BC Public Service employment terms and conditions and agreements to confirm what pre-placement adoption and parental benefits are offered:
This information is for eligible BC Public Service employees.
- Before you apply, review the important information about your Benefits, pension, vacation accrual and payroll deductions
- Follow the timeline closely
Before your leave begins
- If you do not want to continue your benefits coverage, you must cancel it for the duration of your leave. There is no option to cancel Employee Basic Life Insurance and Long-term Disability (LTD) coverage. Ensure you review Benefits, pension, vacation accrual and payroll deductions
- To be entitled to pre-adoption leave allowance, you are agreeing that you will return to work and remain in the employer's employ for at least 6 months or the length of the leave you take, whichever is longer. If you do not, you will have to pay back the allowance and benefits you received
- If you're unsure if you'll return after your leave, you may want to defer, or not take, the pre-adoption allowance. Refer to Pre-placement adoption leave allowance: information for BC Public Service employees
- If you decide to defer or not take the pre-adoption allowance, you are still entitled to take the pre-adoption leave without pay
Submit the following documents to your supervisor to receive both the time off from work and the allowance during your leave:
- Letter to Supervisor Advising of Maternity, Parental or Pre-placement Adoption Leave (DOCX, 41KB) stating the dates of your pre-placement adoption leave (the start date will always be the day after your last day of pay)
- Maternity, Parental, Pre-placement Adoption Leave and/or Allowance application (PDF, 167KB)
- Leave Management Transaction (PDF, 121KB)
Your supervisor will submit the documents through an AskMyHR service request using the categories: My Team or Organization > Leave & Time Off > Maternity, Parental, Adoption.
If you or your supervisor have any questions, contact AskMyHR by submitting a service request using the categories: Myself (or) My Team or Organization > Leave & Time Off > Maternity, Parental, Adoption.
Record leave days
To activate the pre-placement adoption leave allowance:
Record your days off work in Time and Pay > Employee Self Service (ESS) > Time/Leave Employee Work Centre using the 'Pre Adoption Lv' code.
After the adoption
Update your extended health and dental benefits and your life insurance.
You have 60 days from the date of adoption to make changes to your Optional Life Insurance selections or to your flexible benefits options, if applicable.
Before the end of your leave
Inform your supervisor in writing of your intention to return to work as soon as possible. Use the template:
- Letter to Supervisor Advising of Return to Work After Maternity, Parental or Pre-placement Adoption Leave (DOCX, 41KB). Learn more about Entitlements upon return to work.
Also inform your supervisor if:
- You're requesting parental leave after your pre-placement adoption leave has ended
- You're resigning and not returning to work. Learn more about Choosing not to return to work
If you're taking parental leave and have already included this leave with your pre-placement adoption leave application, please refer to the parental leave timeline to find out what you need to do one month before the end of your parental leave.
You're eligible for the allowance if:
- You're a regular (full- or part-time) employee
- You're an auxiliary employee who's eligible for pre-placement adoption benefits as per your Collective Agreement or Terms and Conditions of Employment
An employee is entitled to pre-adoption leave without pay of up to 7 weeks (245 work hours) per calendar year with an allowance of 85% of basic pay during the leave period.
Not claiming, or choosing to defer, the allowance
If you're not sure you want to claim the pre-adoption allowance for whatever reason, including that you're unsure if you’ll return to work after your leave, you may choose to defer the allowance.
You can defer the allowance up to the end of the return-to-work repayment period. The return-to-work repayment period is 6 months or the length of your leaves taken, whichever is longer. Let your supervisor know if you choose to defer.
Refer to the Benefits while on leave or layoff page to learn about your benefits.
You'll be required to repay benefit premiums and any allowances you've received if:
- You take the allowance and/or benefits, then resign at the end of your pre-placement adoption leave
- You do not fulfill the return-to-work requirements of your Collective Agreement or your Terms and Conditions of Employment
Refer to Choosing not to return to work for more information.
Refer to Benefits, pension, vacation accrual and payroll deduction for further details on benefits repayment.
Have questions? Contact AskMyHR by submitting a service request using the categories: Myself (or) my Team or Organization > Pay > Allowances & Reimbursements
Regular Bargaining Unit employees returning to work:
- Retain seniority
- Receive credit for seniority accumulated during the leave period
Auxiliary Bargaining Unit employees retain seniority and may be credited for hours they would have worked during the leave period.
At least one month before the end of your leave, inform your supervisor in writing, if you are resigning and not returning to work.
The start date of your leave will be deemed your date of resignation, if you do not return to work for the time period stated in your employment conditions and agreements.
Confirm your return-to-work time period requirements:
- BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU)
- BC's Professional Employees Association (PEA
- BC Nurses' Union (BCNU)
- Queen's Printer/Unifor
- Crown Counsel Association
- Excluded Employees and Appointees
If you do not immediately return to work at the end of your leave or meet the time period requirements, you'll be responsible for repaying:
- Benefit premiums (both employee and employer portions) including:
- Employee Basic Life Insurance
- Long-term disability (LTD)
- Applicable flexible benefits credits
- Any allowances you received on a pro-rated basis
Employee Basic Life insurance and long-term disability (LTD) coverage are mandatory when you take maternity and/or parental leave. You cannot opt out of coverage. These benefits are maintained throughout the leave, even if you choose to waive extended health and dental coverage.
If you're re-employed at a later date, you'll still be responsible for repaying benefit premiums and allowances as above.
Refer to the next section: Benefits, pension, vacation accrual and payroll deduction for further details on benefits repayment.
- Benefits in place before your leave will remain in place during the leave—but you can cancel extended health and dental coverage and any optional life insurance plans
- If you're unsure about returning to work and want to minimize the repayment of benefits if you do not satisfy the return-to-work obligation, you may want to cancel your extended health and dental coverage
- You must maintain Employee Basic Life Insurance and long-term disability coverage when you take maternity and/or parental leave. There is no option to waive this coverage
- If you do not fulfil the return-to-work requirements, you'll have to repay any benefit premiums and/or flex credits paid on your behalf during your leave
Once you notify your employer that you're resigning, payroll will calculate your allowance and/or benefits overpayment and notify you in writing of the amount.
You must contact payroll to make arrangements for repayment. Contact information for payroll will be provided.
Cancelling benefits while on leave
Bargaining Unit benefits
To cancel extended health, dental or any of the optional life insurance plans you do not wish to maintain, review How to update your coverage on the Benefits for Bargaining Unit employees page.
You must maintain Employee Basic Life Insurance and long-term disability coverage when you take maternity and/or parental leave. There is no option to waive this coverage.
Flexible benefits for excluded employees
To cancel extended health, dental or any of the optional life insurance plans you do not wish to maintain, refer to How to update your coverage on the Benefits for excluded employees page.
You must maintain Employee Basic Life Insurance and long-term disability coverage. There's no option to waive this coverage.
- If you cancel coverage under the Flexible Benefits Program, you'll receive additional flex credits each month for the length of your leave, or until you reinstate coverage during Open Enrolment or as a result of an eligible life event
If you return from your leave in a new plan year, you will have the opportunity to make elections at that time and reinstate your benefits
If you return from your leave in the same plan year, you will have to wait until the next Open Enrolment or an eligible life event to reinstate your benefits
You will need to provide Evidence of Insurability for Flexible Benefits (PDF, 520KB) if you apply for optional life insurance for yourself and/or your spouse
- These credits count as cash earnings and are recorded on your pay. You're responsible for reporting to Service Canada any monies paid or payable to you, cash or other, while receiving employment insurance, maternity or parental benefits
- If you do not meet the return-to-work requirements, you'll be required to repay the flex credits and any other benefit premiums paid on your behalf
Continuing Optional Life Insurance coverage while on leave
Under the Employment Standards Act (Part 6), you can pay the premiums and maintain the Optional Life Insurance coverage if you:
- Are not eligible for top-up allowance
- Are taking the leave but not receiving any top-up allowance
- Waive your top-up allowance
- Defer your top-up allowance
The Optional life insurance plans include:
- Optional Family Funeral Benefit
- Employee Optional Life Insurance
- Spouse Optional Life Insurance
- Child Optional Life Insurance
- Employee Optional Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance
- Spouse Optional Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance
- Child Optional Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance
Within 30 days of starting your leave, complete the Option to Continue Employee Benefits While on Employment Standards Act Leave of Absence Without Pay form (PDF, 305KB).
If you do not maintain your Optional Life Insurance benefits, they will be considered waived. When you return, if you return within 3 months (90 days) from the start of your leave, any optional life insurance plans will be automatically reinstated. If you return after 3 months (90 days) from the start of your leave, any optional life insurance plans that does not require evidence of insurability can be reinstated. You'll need to reapply for optional employee and/or spouse optional life insurance and provide evidence of insurability. The insurance will not be effective until the carrier approves the application.
Refer to Benefits while on leave without pay.
Submit forms through an AskMyHR service request using the categories: Myself (or) My Team or Organization > Benefits > Submit a Health Benefit Form/Application.
In most cases, your entitlement will be pro-rated according to your maternity and/or parental leave start date.
Your vacation entitlements and vacation pay continues to accrue. It will be credited once you've returned to work for a period not less than 6 calendar months if all 3 of these conditions apply:
- You return to work for a period not less than 6 months after being on leave
- You have not received parental allowance
- You were employed prior to March 28, 2001
- You're covered under the Crown Counsel Agreement and return to work for a period not less than 6 months after being on leave
Pension contributions are based solely on the maternity, parental or pre-placement adoption allowance you receive while you're on leave. You can purchase the remaining service for your leave within 5 years of the end of your leave period or before termination of employment, whichever occurs first.
If you are not returning to work after the leave, and you want to purchase the service, the application must be made while on leave (and therefore an active member) in order to be eligible to purchase.
If you do not apply to purchase a leave before terminating employment, you have lost the opportunity to purchase the service, even if you become an active plan member again.
Please note that if you have not gone on maternity leave yet and your baby is born early, you must notify us. Your maternity leave must start on the day that your baby is born. If you do not notify us, and your leave starts after your baby is born, this may impact your purchase of service.
Effective May 1, 2020, employees have the option to make continuous pension contributions monthly throughout their leave.
For more information, refer to the:
- You may wish to cancel some deductions from your pay while you're on leave.
- If you've applied for the Deferred Salary Leave program, you can suspend your contributions while on a temporary leave, such as maternity leave.
To suspend contributions, submit an AskMyHR service request using the categories: Myself > Leave & Time Off > Deferred Salary Leave.
Deductions must commence once you return from your leave. Notify MyHR when you return from your leave to reinstate your deductions by submitting an AskMyHR service request using the categories: Myself > Leave & Time Off > Deferred Salary Leave.
If you have any questions, contact AskMyHR by submitting a service request using the categories: Myself > Leave & Time Off > Maternity, Parental, Adoption.
|Sort by document title||Type|
|Maternity, Parental, Pre-placement Adoption Leave and/or Allowance application (PDF, 167KB)||form|
|Federal TD1 (Canada Revenue Agency form)||form|
|Letter to Supervisor Advising of Maternity, Parental or Pre-placement Adoption Leave (DOCX, 41KB)||template|
|Letter to Supervisor Advising of Return to Work after Maternity, Parental or Pre-placement Adoption Leave (DOCX, 40KB)||template|
|Maternity, Parental, Extended Child Care Leave Calculator (XLSM, 12KB)||calculator|
|Bargaining Unit Benefits Program Enrolment/Change form (PDF, 378KB)||form|
|Flexible Benefits Enrolment/Change form (PDF, 423KB)||form|
|Option to Continue Employee Benefits While on Employment Standards Act Leave of Absence Without Pay (PDF, 441KB)||form|
|Leave Management Transaction (PDF, 121KB)||form|
|Evidence of Insurability for Flexible Benefits (PDF, 520KB)||form|