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Annual Vacations
Maternity Leave


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 leave?

You have to have worked for at least 20 weeks in the 52 weeks before the day the leave is to begin to be eligible for Full or part-time employees who are currently employed, and have been working maternity, adoption or parental leave.


Only the primary caregiver of an adopted child can get adoption leave. It is up to

the parents to identify the primary caregiver.

How much maternity leave can I take?

You can take up to 18 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave.  You receive at least six weeks of leave after the date of birth, even if this causes the total maternity leave taken to be more than 18 weeks.


Leave can be extended for six weeks if there is a medical reason for not returning to work. 

When can I take my leave?

You can start your maternity leave any time during the 12 weeks before the expected date of delivery.   Leave will end no later than 18 weeks after the birth of your child. 

If your pregnancy unreasonably interferes with your job performance or duties, your employer may require you to start your maternity leave up to 13 weeks before your estimated due date, but only if your employer cannot modify your duties or reassign you to another job with no loss of wages or benefits.


Parental Leave

How much parental leave can I take?

  • Birth mother - 34 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave beginning immediately after the end of the 18 week maternity leave.
  • Birth mother (no maternity leave) – 37 consecutive weeks of parental leave.
  • Birth father - 37 consecutive weeks of parental leave.
  • Adopting parent (primary caregiver) - 34 consecutive weeks if 18 week adoption leave is taken prior to parental leave.
  • Adopting parent – 37 consecutive weeks of parental leave.

Parental leave may start no earlier than 12 weeks prior to the estimated and 52 weeks after the child’s birth or adoption. 

Each parent of a child is entitled to parental leave.

Giving Notice for a Leave

What must I do to get leave?

For maternity, adoption or parental leave, you must give 4 weeks written notice stating the date you are to start and finish your leave to your employer.


For maternity leave, you must include a medical certificate stating the estimated birth date. 


For adoption leave, you must provide the estimated date the child will be coming into your care.  If you are unable to provide this date to your employer, the notice given by Social Services, an adoption agency, or the birth parents must be given to the employer.

What if I need to change my leave date after giving notice?

You can begin leave earlier than you originally told your employer if you give your employer new written notice including a medical certificate stating you are unable to work.

Returning to Work

How much notice do I need to give my employer before I return to work?

You must give your employer 4 weeks written notice prior to returning to work. An employer is not required to allow an employee to return until this notice is received.

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?

Yes, as long as you pay your share of the cost of these plans.

Will I continue to accumulate seniority and vacation during my leave?

Yes, employees continue to earn credits toward length of employment, length of service, vacation and seniority during periods of maternity and paternity leave. 

For more information please visit Rights and Responsibilities: A Guide to Labour Standards in Saskatchewan. 


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