Prince Edward Island
Can I be fired for being pregnant?
No. It's illegal for your boss to suspend you, fire you or lay you off for being pregnant.
How do I qualify for maternity leave?
You have to have worked 20 weeks of the 52 weeks prior to going on leave. Part-time, full-time, permanent and contract employees are all eligible for maternity leave.
How much maternity leave can I take?
You can take up to 17 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave. You are entitled to take 6 weeks leave after the birth of your child even if you have been on leave for 17 weeks previous to birth.
When can I take my leave?
You can start your leave 16 weeks before your estimated due date but no later than the actual birth date of your child. Leave can end no later than 17 weeks after actual birth and no earlier than 1 week after actual birth.
If you cannot reasonably perform your work duties, your employer can require you to start your maternity leave no more than 3 months prior to your estimated due date.
How do I qualify for parental leave?
You have to have worked 20 weeks of the 52 weeks prior to going on leave. Part-time, full-time, permanent and contract employees are all eligible for parental leave.
The mother or father of a newborn child, and the adopting parents of a child are eligible to apply for parental leave. Foster parents are not eligible for parental leave.
One period of parental leave is available for both parents.
How much parental leave can I take?
- Birth mother - up to 52 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave
- Birth father - up to 52 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave
- Adopting parent - up to 52 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave
Note: Both parents can take parental leave but their total combined leave cannot exceed 52 weeks.
Parental leave must be started within 52 weeks after the child's birth or when the child first comes into parent care.
What if my child is sick and I need to stay home longer?
If your child has a physical, psychological or emotional condition requiring additional parental care, you can apply for an extension to your leave up to 5 weeks. This extension must be asked for in writing at least 1 week prior to your return to work. Your employer may require you to provide a medical certificate verifying your child’s medical issue.
How much leave can I take if I have twins, triplets or more children at the same time?
Parents of multiples do not get additional leave time.
Giving Notice for a Leave
What must I do to get leave?
You must give written notice to your employer at least 4 weeks before you want your leave to start. For maternity leave, you must provide a medical certificate confirming your pregnancy and stating the expected due date or stating a reason for taking leave prior to your due date. In the case of adoption, your employer can request a letter from an official in the Department of Community Services.
Sometimes an employee has to stop working earlier than expected because of complications caused by the pregnancy. In that case, the employee has to give notice that is “reasonably practical” after she stops working to give the employer written notice of the day the pregnancy leave began or will begin.
What if I want to go back to work at the end of my leave?
You must give written notice to your employer at least 2 weeks before you plan to end your leave.
Returning to Work
What job will I come back to?
You'll go back to your previous job or a similar job with the at least the same wages and benefits. You're also entitled to any wage and benefit increases that took effect while you were on leave.
Can I continue to participate in benefit plans, such as disability, dental, pension or medical plans?
Your employer is not obligated to pay pension benefits while you are on leave.
Will I continue to accumulate seniority during my leave?
Yes, employees continue to earn credits toward length of employment, length of service, and seniority during periods of leave.
For more information please visit PEI Employment Standards http://www.gov.pe.ca/law/statutes/pdf/e-06_2.pdf