All the facts you need to know about Paternity Leave in Canada and why taking Paternity Leave is a good start to fatherhood.
PATERNITY LEAVE IN CANADA
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).
ARE YOU ELIGIBLE?
All new Dads are eligible for Paternity Leave, as long as you have at least 600 hours of work under the Employment Insurance System within the past 52 weeks. COVID-19 Update: As of September 27, 2020 and in effect for one year, you only need 120 insured hours to qualify as you’ll receive a one-time credit of 480 insured hours to reach 600.
HOW IT WORKS
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. The weekly benefit rate is 55% of the parent’s average weekly insurable earnings to a maximum of $573 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. The weekly benefit rate is 33% of the parent’s average weekly insurable earnings to a maximum of $344 a week before taxes.
COVID-19 Update: As of September 27, 2020 and in effect for one year, parental benefits will pay a minimum of $500 per week before taxes and extended benefits will pay a minimum of $300 per week before taxes.
For more information on updates to parental leave to support you during COVID-19, see Service Canada’s documentation here.
THE BENEFITS OF TAKING PATERNITY LEAVE
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.
PLANNING FOR PATERNITY LEAVE
- 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.
- 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.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
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.