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Maternity Leave

What is the difference between Maternity Leave and Parental Leave?

Maternity leave is an unpaid leave, taken near the end of a pregnancy or immediately afterwards.

Parental leave is taken by fathers and mothers to care for a child after birth or adoption.

How do I qualify for Maternity leave?

You must have worked for your employer for at least seven months and be expecting a child.

How do I qualify for Parental leave?

You must have worked for your employer for at least seven months and be expecting a child.

How much leave can I take for Maternity leave?

You can take up to 17 weeks.

If your baby is born later than expected, you can extend your maternity leave by the amount of time equal to the period between the expected and actual date of birth.

How much leave can I take for Parental leave?

Parental leave is up to 37 weeks long and must be taken in one continuous period.

When can I take my Maternity leave?

You can begin your leave as early as 17 weeks before your estimated due date and not later than 17 weeks after your baby is born.

What must I do to get Maternity leave?

You must give at least four weeks written notice of when you intend to start your leave. As soon as possible, you must also provide a medical certificate giving your expected due date.

How does an employee start Parental leave?

Parental leave can begin up to one year after the birth or adoption of a child. Employees who have taken maternity leave and also wish to take parental leave, must do so immediately following the maternity leave, unless the employer agrees to a different arrangement.

Are there programs to pay employees while on leave?

Yes, the federal government provides programs through Employment Insurance (EI) to cover this type of leave. Please check with your local EI office or call 1-800-206-7218 for details.

Can I get sick leave or disability benefits while on leave?

Employers who provide sick leave and/or disability benefits to employees must ensure that pregnant workers get these benefits if they have a health-related absence during maternity leave or because of their pregnancy. As part of health-related leave, pregnant employees have the right to access these benefits before, during or after the delivery. However, you need the required sick leave credits. In addition, employers must pay their usual share of benefit premiums during the health-related absence.

What job will I come back to?

You'll go back to your previous job, or a similar job with at least the same wages and benefits.

Can I be fired for getting pregnant?

No. It's illegal for your boss to suspend you, fire you or lay you off for being pregnant. Generally, a comparable position with the same pay and benefits must be offered. In special circumstances, employers may not have a position available for reasons completely unrelated to the leave. For example, if employers shut down part of their operations and reduce their workforce based on a seniority system, employees who are on unpaid leave would not necessarily be protected from losing their jobs.  Employers must show that the leave has no impact on the decision to lay off or terminate the employment.

What if employers refuse to bring employees back to work?

An employee who believes they were terminated because they took or requested leave may file a claim with the Manitoba Employment Standards Branch. Employers who do not allow employees to return to work after a leave may be ordered to pay compensation, and in some cases reinstate them to their jobs.

For more information please visit the Manitoba Maternity Leave Factsheet

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