Paternity Leave

All the facts you need to know about Paternity Leave in Canada and why taking Paternity Leave is a good start to fatherhood.


As of March 2019, all Canadian parents have 40 weeks of parental leave; 5 of which are specifically meant for Dads to take time off work to care for their newborn. Quebec is Canada’s most paternity friendly region since 2006. Approximately 84% of Dads exercise this policy (compared to only 11% of dads in the rest of Canada).


All new Dads are eligible for Paternity Leave, as long as you have at least 600 hours of work towards Employment Insurance (EI) within the past 52 weeks.

Use Our Must-Have Paternity Leave Checklist

The Paternity Leave Checklist provides 10 crucial steps dads should take to prepare for Paternity Leave. Taking paternity leave helps kids, dads, and moms. It can also be scary if you’re not sure how it works or what to expect. Follow this checklist to know what’s right for your situation and maximize the transition to fatherhood.


Parental benefits are paid for a maximum of 35 shared weeks plus 5 weeks of “daddy days”; paid within a year of the birth or adoption of the child. In 2022, the weekly benefit rate is 55% of the parent’s average weekly insurable earnings up to a maximum of $638 a week before taxes.

Extended parental benefits are paid for a maximum of 61 shared weeks plus 8 weeks of “daddy days”; paid within 78 weeks of the birth or adoption of the child. In 2022, the weekly benefit rate is 33% of the parent’s average weekly insurable earnings up to a maximum of $383 a week before taxes.

For more information on updates to parental leave to support you during COVID-19, see Service Canada’s documentation here.


Dad Central and Dove Men+Care research shows that:
  • Kids who grow up with a highly engaged Dad are more likely to have better mental and physical development, are more likely to be confident leaders, their risk-taking and risk-management increases, they show more pro-social behaviour, and display a greater ability of self-regulation. These children tend to be more emotionally stable, experience less anxiety and depression, and tend to be more active.
  • Taking the time to care allows Dad to create a close bond with his child, become a more confident parent, gain new understanding of the importance of their influence in their child’s life and strengthen the relationship with his partner.
  • By taking shared parental leave, Dads are supporting their working partners, allowing them to resume their careers earlier.


At Work:
  • Start with planning ahead at work; speak to your employer or HR department about your company’s paternity leave options and Employment Insurance policies.
  • Help your team (colleagues and managers) plan for your work to be covered while you are away and similarly, plan for your re-entry to work.
At Home:
  • Prepare at home by crossing off any domestic work prior to the baby arriving, set expectations of household tasks with your partner, and seek advice from friends and/or family, or a financial representative to support in financial planning for your paternity leave.
  • Take a parenting class and/or join a parenting community for support and guidance throughout this time.

Download the Checklist

Paternity Leave Checklist preview


Learn more about Service Canada’s Parental Benefits Information. Dad Central and Dove Men+Care have booklets and other resources available for fathers seeking more information. Download our Free Booklets, check out our New Dads Resources and visit Dove.Ca

Watch Our Discussion on Paternity Leave

This free, online conversation helps dads know:

  • The research behind why paternity leave is so important
  • The benefits for children, dads, and moms/partners
  • The widespread impact and best practices based on Quebec’s success (over 85% of dads take paternity leave)
This discussion features fatherhood expert Dr. Gregory Fabiano; Raymond Villeneuve, Executive Director for Regroupement pour la Valorisation de la Paternité (RVP); and Mardoché Mertilus, Program Liaison for RVP. We know you’ll leave feeling empowered to continue having conversations around active fatherhood, and the importance of taking paternity leave. Learn more about the discussion and watch it here

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